The High Court has frozen land, seven cars and a house in Nairobi worth Sh17.5 million belonging to an official working at the Department of Correction Services suspected to have benefitted from tenders worth Sh257 million between 2012 and 2016.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) moved to freeze the property and cars belonging to Eric Kipkurui Mutai, saying they were purchased using proceeds of crime.
Justice Esther Maina granted the order freezing the vehicles and property for six months, pending conclusion by EACC.
“The properties so purchased constitute proceeds of corrupt conduct or corruption which the Applicant is mandated to seek recovery or forfeiture of from the 1st Respondent (Mutai),” the EACC submitted.
Court documents show that Mr Mutai was paid Sh257 million between 2012 and 2016, for supplies allegedly made to the Prisons.
He is the sole proprietor of seven companies registered during the period and using the said companies, he got the funds allegedly through a fictitious supply of food and ration to the Department of Corrections.
The companies include Unique Supplies, Homex Logistics enterprises and Hygienic Ventures. From the payments, Mr Mutai allegedly purchased the parcels of land in Nyaribari Chache in Kisii County, Kipchimchim in Kericho County and another property in Nairobi.
He also acquired the seven motor vehicles, all valued at Sh30 million. The most costly vehicle was Sh6.8 million as per the court documents.
The EACC said investigations established that Mr Mutai while not being authorised, obtained S13 forms used in procurement by the Department of Corrections which formed the basis of payments made, as they were attached to the payment vouchers.
He allegedly claimed to have supplied food and ration to seven prison facilities in Nairobi through his companies and although no supplies were made, money was wired to his bank accounts opened in 2016 and 2017. He later withdrew the money and purchased the said properties.
“That it is, therefore, necessary to preserve the properties for a period of six months as allowed by the law pending conclusion of investigations and institution or recovery proceedings,” EACC said.
The Commission said it has been undertaking investigations relating to public officers at the Department of Correctional Services, suspected to have fraudulently acquired approximately Sh450 million on account of goods that were never supplied.
The court heard that Mr Mutai might transfer or dispose of the property, rendering the intended case useless unless the preservation orders are issued.
The will be mentioned on October 25, to confirm the status of investigations.