This case study examines a 2021 unexplained wealth (illicit enrichment) case in Kenya involving a former Chief Accountant at the Treasury, Patrick Ochieno Abachi.

The case is related to Kenya’s so-called Anglo Leasing scandal, in which 18 high-value government security contracts were allegedly awarded to fictitious companies in the early 2000s. It illustrates one set of circumstances in which civil unexplained wealth (or civil illicit enrichment) legislation can be an extremely useful tool to target assets stolen through corruption.

At a Basel Institute-hosted webinar on illicit enrichment on 30 June 2021, practitioners from Uganda, Kenya and Mauritius agreed that illicit enrichment laws have significant potential to help their countries – and others – target corruption and recover stolen assets. But, they say, significant hurdles still need to be overcome, especially in transnational cases.

Local certification is emerging as an interesting way for large companies and their supply chains to help address compliance and due diligence issues that can be a barrier to business. A recent Basel Institute working paper showed how local certification programmes developed with a Collective Action approach can help:

Congratulations to our partners in Kenya, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for their success in one of the country’s most significant corruption cases to date: the sentencing of John Waluke, a Member of Parliament, and Grace Wakhungu, who is the mother of a former Environment Cabinet Secretary, in a maize procurement fraud worth nearly USD 3 million.

The Framework for the Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime in Kenya (FRACCK), agreed and signed by the Governments of Kenya, Jersey, Switzerland and the UK in 2018 with support from the Basel Institute's International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), is already generating strong interest for its "innovative" and "novel" approach to asset return.

These were the words of Brigitte Strobel-Shaw, Officer-in-Charge of the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch of the UNODC, during a May 7-9 International Expert Meeting on the Return of Stolen Assets. 

Kenya's Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered 19 corruptly acquired assets worth KES 2,730,571,000 (over USD 27 million) in the first four months of 2019 alone. The assets – a mix of cash and landed properties, including a fire station, Kenya Railways land and a beachfront property – are being returned to the public treasury, along with significant fines paid by individuals convicted of corruption and bribery.

This guide helps businesses to learn more about the UN Global Compact Collection Action Project in partnership with five Global Compact Local Networks in Brazil, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt.

It also aims to help improve anti-corruption practices within their individual organizations and to engage other businesses, governments and civil society in anti-corruption Collective Action.