by David Musyoka
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Jersey,
a British Crown dependency, have signed an agreement which now
paves way for the return of over 3.8 million U.S. dollars of
stolen assets to Nairobi.
The agreement signed between
Kenya and Government of Jersey is the latest step taken by both
governments to secure the return of the funds, which were
confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016.
Jersey is a British Crown dependency among the Channel
Islands with an area almost the size of Nairobi city but with
about 100,000 people.
A statement from the British High Commission in Nairobi said
Tuesday this was after defendant company Windward Trading
Limited pleaded guilty to four counts of laundering the proceeds
The Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst who signed
the deal on behalf of the Government of Jersey said the
agreement conveys a powerful message that both Jersey and Kenya
are committed to combating issues of historic corruption and
"The process is one that has understandably taken some time
because of the legal complexities of confiscation and asset
sharing," Gorst said.
"The completion of this agreement is a step towards ensuring
these funds are returned to the people of Kenya, where they
rightfully belong," he added.
"We are delighted to reach agreement with the Government of
Jersey on this important matter.
"We welcome the positive cooperation between Kenya and Jersey
and look forward to an enhanced partnership in future," said Dr.
Kamau Thugge, the Principal Secretary for the National Treasury.
The corrupt activities took place in Kenya where Windward’s
beneficial owner, Samuel Gichuru, is resident.
During the period on the indictment, Gichuru was also the
Chief Executive of electricity utility, the Kenya Power and
Lighting Company (KPLC).
In June 2011, the Attorney General of Jersey requested the
extradition of Kenyans - Gichuru and Chrysanthus Okemo, former
Kenyan Energy Minister, from Kenya to face money laundering
charges in Jersey in connection with Windward’s activities.
The extradition proceedings are still ongoing.
Indicted in July 2011 by the Jersey authorities for money
laundering, the two Kenyans have been fighting legal battles in
Kenya to stop their extradition.
Jersey’s laws allow the authorities to seize assets gained
from criminal activities such as money laundering, drug
trafficking and bribery
The Nairobi High Court in November 2016 ordered that they be
They appealed the decision and a temporary order was issued
last month for them to stay until the matter is decided.
Gichuru and Okemo face 53 counts linked to the "commissions"
from companies bidding to get contracts with KPLC.
Details of the money were exposed when Gichuru’s wife filed
court papers during proceedings for divorce. The wife claimed an
estimated 10,000 U.S. dollars was stashed abroad.
Windward, according to court records, admitted to laundering
proceeds of crime between July 29 1999 and October 19, 2001.
Those activities took place in Kenya, where Gichuru was still
serving as Kenya Power’s boss.
This scheme involved companies from different countries, and
an investigation Jersey launched into the matter meant it had to
seek legal assistance from as many as 12 countries around the
The companies included Wartsila, based in Finland, Knight
Piésold, from South Africa, British engineering company Mott
Macdonald and Capitan (Europe).
They all paid Gichuru to get favours for contracts through
accounts Windward held at Jersey’s HSBC Bank Plc and Royal Bank
of Scotland International.