A State agency now wants five parcels of land and three motor vehicles belonging to three members of the Ngirita family, forfeited to the government on grounds the property were bought with more than Sh400 million they received from the National Youth Service (NYS).
In an application to be heard on April 15, the Assets Recovery Agency said it believes that the land and the cars are proceeds of crime.
The said properties were frozen last year after the agency convinced Justice Hediwg Ong’udi that they suspected that they were proceeds of crime.
The properties are associated with Phyllis Njeri, Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita and their mother Lucy Wambui Ngitira.
They include a 0.70-hectare parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale registered in the name of Sylvia Ajiambo Ongoro. The agency said the land was sold to Ms Ngirita on June 2, 2016.
Another piece of land is in Naivasha town, which New Hope for All Nations sold to Mrs Ngirita on July 8, 2016, and another one-acre parcel in Nakuru East, which she acquired on April 25, 2017.
She is also alleged to have purchased a land in Kiamunyi area of Nakuru town in an agreement dated October 28, 2016, while Mr Gichini is said to have bought a parcel in Mwicingiri, Naivasha, on July 1, 2016.
Also to be forfeited to the government are three motor vehicles — two Toyota station wagons and a pickup model — registered in the names of Opportunity International Wedco limited and Platinum Credit.
The agency said investigations into their bank statements and documents concerning the accounts, established that the three and their business entities, as well as associates, received funds fraudulently from the NYS.
The said money was allegedly intra-transferred within the same bank into accounts belonging to the family members and associates.
Some of the funds were allegedly used to purchase the suspected properties.
The investigator said there was reasonable cause to believe that the said properties are proceeds of crime and need to be preserved pending an application for them to be forfeited to the government.
“It is in the interest of justice that court issues an order that the said assets belonging to the three and which are reasonably believed to be proceeds of crime be forfeited to government and transferred to ARA,” said Fredrick Musyoki, an investigator, said in a statement.
The documents showed that Ms Njeri received into her personal account Sh57 million, which the NYS paid directly to her personal account contrary to procedure.
The agency said the payments are a clear case of fraud because there is no evidence of goods or services that the NYS procured directly from her.
The family received Sh466.7 million from the NYS.
Ms Ngirita received Sh109 million from NYS. It is further alleged that Ms Ngirita and her son Jeremiah through his company Jerrycathy received Sh133 million between October 17 and 18, 2016. She further alleged to have received through her company Waluco Investments Sh154 million from the NYS between February 2016 and February 2017.
Last year, the three made an application for the vehicles to be released.
They told the court that they were not making use of the vehicles, which are being held at Naivasha Police Station and that the continued grounding of the vehicles is unlawful, irregular and unwarranted.
They said the vehicles are co-owned with a financial institution, which financed the purchase and they continue to accrue interest.
The Ngiritas have denied charges of fraudulently receiving payments from the NYS, for goods not supplied.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.