What you need to know:
- The SFO is blocked from handing over the report to Kenya’s Attorney General because British laws dictate that the document can only be handed over to an ongoing investigation.
- The lid on the Liverpool address for Anglo Leasing and Finance Company has been lifted, giving credible leads to the key people who hatched the plot
- Speaker Kenneth Marende has ordered a parliamentary committee to inquire into the mystery surrounding the Anglo Leasing scandal that has remained unresolved for six years.
The British Government is holding a crucial new report that could unravel the mystery surrounding the multi-billion-shilling Anglo Leasing scandal, the Nation can reveal.
Impeccable sources in Kenyan Government said the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had prepared a report that provides “useful leads” on Anglo Leasing and other scandals through which billions of taxpayer’s money has been siphoned out of the country either by key people in government or their allies.
The report, which the SFO prepared after conducting investigations into the Anglo Leasing scheme since July 2007, is said to unlock the meshed labyrinth that has blocked local efforts to identify the real players in the deal that has cost the Kenyan taxpayer billions of shillings.
However, the SFO is blocked from handing over the report to Kenya’s Attorney General because British laws dictate that the document can only be handed over to an ongoing investigation.
Currently, a ruling by the High Court in Nairobi blocks the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) from receiving any reports on Anglo Leasing, thereby stopping all investigations into the scandal. The SFO has interpreted this to mean that Kenya had put a stop to investigations into the scandal.
It is said the report traces the movement of the payments of millions of shillings in promissory notes and narrows them to particular individuals in Nairobi, who were working with a small team of foreigners labelled as ghost companies.
The revelation of the SFO report was given impetus on Tuesday when Speaker Kenneth Marende ordered a parliamentary committee to inquire into the mystery surrounding the Anglo Leasing scandal that has remained unresolved for six years.
The Speaker’s order followed heated debate in Parliament after Gichugu MP Martha Karua asked Attorney General Amos Wako to explain the status of various Anglo Leasing cases. Mr Wako said in response that he would welcome any assistance to track down the culprits behind the scandal that came to the public’s knowledge in 2004.
“The government and the Attorney General want this matter expeditiously concluded and we will welcome any assistance to ensure the culprits behind Anglo Leasing are arrested,” he told the House before Mr Marende directed the parliamentary Committee of Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs to launch investigations into the matter.
The crucial document is said to trace the accounts on which the Anglo Leasing funds were transferred to; how the promissory notes were paid out and the powerful people behind the scheme.
Sources disclosed that the lid on the Liverpool address for Anglo Leasing and Finance Company has also been lifted, giving credible leads to the key people who hatched the plot to draw billions of shillings from the Treasury through dubious contracts with non-existent companies.
Our sources said that a recent letter from the SFO highlighted the obstacles that had restrained it from handing over the report; one of them being lack of a legislation on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in Kenya’s law books.
This could explain why the MLA Bill was among a raft of proposed laws either to be enacted or amended in the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill which was published by Mr Wako last week.
Calls to the AG went unanswered but sources in his office said Mr Wako had flown three times to the UK since mid March in a bid to hold meetings with the SFO who terminated inquiries into the Anglo Leasing affair in February. The SFO investigations covered Spain, France and Switzerland.
Sources at the Attorney General’s chambers also disclosed that efforts to reverse the court ruling that blocked Anglo Leasing investigations had been hampered by the courts’ delay to release certified copies of proceedings.
Under legal procedure, an appeal can only be filed with attachments of certified copies of the proceedings which culminated in the ruling. “The courts are yet to give us the certified copies of proceedings for us to file an appeal,” said a senior official at the AG’s office.
Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission spokesman Nicholas Simani said they were not allowed to receive any report following the court ruling.
“We were barred from receiving any reports on that matter. The Attorney General is most suited to comment about it because he has been trying to appeal against the ruling,” he said.
In Parliament on Tuesday, the AG listed the terminated Anglo Leasing contracts as the Forensic Sciences Laboratories project, the Immigration Security Documents and Control Systems Project, the Kenya E-Cops Security Law and Order Systems Project and the Export Lease purchase of Security Vehicles for police project.
But the AG was taken to task by MPs who accused him of abdicating his role as the government’s chief legal adviser by sanctioning the contracts. Mr Wako told MPs that Sh1 billion had been recovered from four Anglo Leasing type of contracts, which were terminated.
He listed Mr Anura Perreira and a Mr Deepak Kamani as the chief perpetrators of the scandal.