The Government of Kenya has inked a Framework for Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime (FRACCK) Agreement with the Government of Jersey that will see the repatriation of Kshs. 516 million of illicit proceeds ploughed back into the country. The agreement will also see Kenya strengthen her collaboration with other countries in an effort to prevent, identify and provide for restitution mechanisms of illicit financial flows and the proceeds of corruption.
The FRACCK Agreement was signed Tuesday morning by Attorney General Justice (Rtd) Kihara Kariuki on behalf of Kenya and Minister for External Affairs, from the Government of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst. During the brief signing ceremony at Harambee House, the Government of Jersey confirmed that measures to forestall the transfer and harbouring of illicit wealth from different countries had already been put in place in Jersey. Jersey is currently the custodian of close to 1.7 Trillion dollars of illicit proceeds from Africa awaiting repatriation to benefit the people where the funds had been siphoned.
Kenya and Jersey first agreed to a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request in 2007 during investigations into the Anglo Leasing cases. The request was instrumental in the freezing of suspects’ funds held in Jersey banks where approximately 4 million Sterling pounds was successfully frozen. At the time, the Government of Kenya received documents and evidence that were used in the prosecution of suspects implicated in the Anglo Leasing cases.
Kenya has already established the requisite authorities to implement the Anti-Money Laundering- Combating the Financing of Terrorism controls(AML/CFT) through the Financial Reporting Center (FRC) for financial intelligence and the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) for the recovery of illicit assets. This is in line with the Financial Action Taskforce recommendations for financial intelligence in the fight against money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism which have improved Kenya’s capacity in the prevention and detection of illicit proceeds and assets.
The Government of Kenya has committed to continue to provide the widest Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Investigations, Prosecutions and Judicial Proceedings in criminal matters while supporting international co-operation in the fight against transnational organized crime, corruption and money laundering.
“Our respective Governments’ cooperation in the timely sharing of financial intelligence and subsequent recovery of assets is critical in the fight against corruption and money laundering. Cooperation, particularly with regard to financial intelligence on Political Exposed Persons, and other Kenyan citizens holding accounts within the Jersey financial system, will be crucial as Kenya continues with the war on corruption,” Kenya’s chief legal advisor, Kihara Kariuki assured the Jersey authorities.
During today’s signing ceremony, Kenya and Jersey have committed to explore areas of collaboration matters related to Double Taxation while finalizing the Final Asset Recovery Agreement that is part of a wider international FRACC. The two countries have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Financial Cooperation. National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Senator Gorst of Jersey signed on behalf of their respective governments.
In March 2017, The Government of Jersey and the Government of the Republic of Kenya signed a preliminary Asset Sharing Agreement that would ensure that stolen funds are returned to Kenya in a manner that is transparent. This Asset Sharing Agreement is also in line with an initiative to develop a broader framework for asset recovery and repatriation and use the same for appropriate developments projects that will benefit the citizens.
“Citizens must feel the benefits of the illicit funds that are being returned and that is why signing this FRACCK and Memorandum of Agreement is important. It is a framework that will be replicated with other countries,” the Jersey representative stated.
By Irene Agum