Drugs and Trophy Trafficking Couple to Lose Sh1 Billion Worth of Property and Cash (Kenya)

Feb 27, 2020 | News

By Richard Kamau, The Star

The chickens have come home to roost for a city couple accused of drug trafficking and trading in wildlife trophies.

This is after Justice Mumbi Ngugi ordered the accused Joseph Wanjohi and his wife Jane Wambui to forfeit property and cash worth Sh1 billion to the State.

In her ruling last Friday, Justice Mumbi said the Assets Recovery Agency established that assets belonging to the pair were proceeds of crime. The assets include four parcels of land, two high-end vehicles and Sh10.5 million cash.

The parcels are located in the upmarket Muthaiga North area where an acre of land goes for not less than Sh300 million. The vehicles, registered in Wanjohi’s name, include a Range Rover Sport and a Mercedes Benz.

In their defense, Wanjohi and Wambui argued that they were legitimate business people and there was no evidence that their assets were proceeds of crime.But Justice N gugi said the sale of shoes, T-shirts among others as alleged by the couple cannot result in the amount of funds deposited in their accounts, the Star reports.

Threat to National Security 

She agreed with the Assets Recovery Agency that the couple’s activities are a threat to national security, public good and leads to erosion of values. “The damage crime of narcotic drugs has brought on families and devastation caused the trade in wildlife trophies is well-known. We can’t over-emphasise on determent of such illegal trade,” she said. Adding: “We must ensure they don’t enjoy proceeds of such crimes,” said Justice Ngugi.
The accused are directors at Sidjoe Manufacturers and Suppliers and Marudiano Zone Ltd.

The court ordered that a total of Sh10,589,069 held in accounts in Barclays Moi Avenue account under John Wanjohi and by Sidjoe Manufacturers and Suppliers at Barclays Muthaiga North be surrendered to the state. Sidjoe Manufacturers and Suppliers accounts holds Sh10,013,187 while Joseph Wanjohi has Sh575,882 in his accounts.

The two were arrested in Muthaiga on July 12, 2018. They were charged the following day with various offences including possession of wildlife trophy at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

A search at their house was conducted and four pieces of elephant tusks, assorted alcoholic drinks and Sh460,000 in cash were recovered.

An affidavit by police officer Fredrick Muriuki indicated that investigations into the couple began in 2005. “They were under active investigations for narcotics trafficking, distribution and sale of narcotics and illegitimate trade of wildlife trophies,” Muriuki said. On 16 October 2009, the two were arrested at their Muthaiga home while in possession of 1274 grams of heroin. 

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