Within days of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, Western governments imposed unprecedented economic sanctions against the Russian state and certain Russian oligarchs. They are now working to identify and freeze assets linked to sanctioned individuals and entities – a magnificent challenge in itself.
Our International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) training team was in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last week, delivering a Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery training course to a multi-agency group of officers responsible for anti-corruption and asset recovery.
Anti-corruption investigators and prosecutors from Kenya, Sierra Leone and Zambia joined experts from our International Centre for Asset Recovery on 16–18 November to share experiences of non-conviction based forfeiture (NCBF) laws in their countries.
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 the trailblazing Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of Kenya, whose latest figures show recovered assets worth a total of KES 29.8 billion (over USD 271 million). KES 20.5 million of this, or around USD 187 million at current exchange rates, was collected in the last five years.
Eighteen participants from anti-corruption authorities across East Africa took part in the first ever online delivery of our Financial Investigations and Asset Recovery training programme last week.
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.