The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has raised the red flag on 23 apartments that were purchased by a civil servants in cash within days. The agency says that Ms. Margaret Wanja, who works at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), bought 23 apartments within a span of days to beat the old notes deadline in 2019.
The agency says that the apartments worth an estimated Sh. 374.5 million and Sh. 94 million in bank accounts linked to Margaret Wanja are the products of illicit deals, including kickbacks from road contractors.
A report that appeared in a local daily says that that Wanja “bought 11 apartments in Kileleshwa for Sh. 264 million in cash between July and September 24, 2019. She acquired another 12 units in a Ruaka flat in June 2019 for Sh.15 million, days after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) set September 30, 2019 deadline for converting the old Sh. 1,000 note into new ones after it became the banknote of choice for criminals in the country.”
The agency further said that Wanja purchased the apartments herself or through proxies and a company whose directors were mostly her relatives.
“Documents filed in court showed that she had earlier in March 2019 acquired a flat with 12 units in Ruaka for Sh. 15 million. Wanja later acquired a house in Nairobi and land in Riruta, Dagoretti and registered them in the names of other persons to conceal the source of the funds,” the report that appeared in the Business Daily on Wanja’s dealings said.
Following a petition by the agency, the High Court through Justice James Wakiaga has ordered that the Sh. 94 million in Wanja’s bank accounts be frozen. The court further ruled that the registrar of lands should place caveats on each of the properties listed in court as belonging to Wanja.