NGOs under probe for funding Al-Shabaab

Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro. A battle for the late Mbiyu Koinange’s multi-billion-shillings estate has sucked in Mr Muhoro over claims he is protecting lawyers alleged to have illegally siphoned millions of shillings from the estate. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

What you need to know:

  • According to police sources, the NGOs are suspected of soliciting funds in the name of delivering aid but turn around and finance terrorism in the country and the East African region.
  • The detectives are also investigating the possibility that a number of NGOs with international links could be engaging in money laundering.
  • Mr Fazul advised the donor community to insist on accountability from the NGOs they fund. He proposed that the outfits should file their returns quarterly rather than annually as is the case now.

About 10 non-governmental organisations are under investigation for probable links with Al-Shabaab, the Sunday Nation can reveal.

According to police sources, the NGOs are suspected of soliciting funds in the name of delivering aid but turn around and finance terrorism in the country and the East African region.

As a result, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit has asked the NGOs’ regulator to furnish it with details of individuals behind the organisations whose bank accounts are said to be active even after being deregistered.

Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro declined to comment on the investigations when contacted by the Sunday Nation.

The newly-appointed Executive Director of the NGO Co-ordination Board Mohamed Fazul said that some NGOs were conducting their businesses in an opaque manner; usually engaging in activities for which they were not registered.

“We are working round the clock to restore discipline in the charity industry. We cannot have a situation where NGOs are an integral conduit of all manner of vices,” Mr Fazul said.

AIDING TERRORISTS
The United States security agents are also looking for the people behind the NGOs under investigation.

This is in connection with attacks that date as far back as 1998 when more than 200 people were killed in a bomb blast targeting the American Embassy in Nairobi.

Sources told the Sunday Nation that American security agencies accuse the NGOs of recruiting and aiding terrorists.

The Americans have requested the government to supply them with information that would help to track the suspected masterminds of frequent attacks.

Registration records seen by the Sunday Nation show that the NGOs are supposed to advance humanitarian agenda to vulnerable groups in different parts of the country.

Investigators say that is a red herring as their activities remain a mystery. They say the sources of the NGOs funding also raise questions.

The detectives are also investigating the possibility that a number of NGOs with international links could be engaging in money laundering.

UPDATE RECORDS
Those privy to the investigations say up to 12 NGOs are staring at court cases on grounds of receiving “dirty money” from foreign donors which they invest in real estate to “clean it” before repatriating it.

Their names can only be disclosed in court for legal reasons. Mr Fazul said the affected NGOs would soon be charged under the Anti-Money Laundering Act and NGO Co-ordination Act of 1990.

“We have forwarded files to detectives for further action,” he said.

Mr Fazul advised the donor community to insist on accountability from the NGOs they fund. He proposed that the outfits should file their returns quarterly rather than annually as is the case now.

Last week, he notified all the NGOs to update their records to weed out “the bad elements”.

“Pursuant to Section 7 of the Act and Regulation 24 of the NGOs Coordination Regulations, all NGOs registered under the Act are required to file annual reports within three months from the date of the expiry of their financial year,” he said in an advertisement last week.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.