The High Court has declared over Sh53 million belonging to a British national to be proceeds of crime and orders the funds forfeited to the state.

The High Court has declared over Sh53 million belonging to a British national to be proceeds of crime and orders the funds forfeited to the state.

The money belonging to British national Anton Ryan Cornelius, the director of African Confidence limited was sent from Mauritius and the Briton failed to satisfactorily explain the source of the funds.

The money is Sh145,235.06, USD 308,332.80 equivalent to (Sh 46,866,585.6) and USD 40,680.16 equivalent to (Sh 6,183,384.32) all held at Diamond Trust Bank.

“An order be and is hereby issued for forfeiture of the funds held in the three Bank accounts held at Diamond Trust Bank to the Assets Recovery Agency on behalf of the Government,” ordered judge Maina.

The anti-corruption court judge further ordered the millions to be transferred to Asset Recovery Agency’s Deposit Account for recovered criminal assets fund, an account at Kenya Commercial Bank.

The Anti-corruption court ruled that ARA proved on a balance of probabilities that Cornelius and director of African Confidence limited had funds in their accounts which could not be explained.

The income and capital gains accruing from the funds are also proceeds of crime, the judge said.

The Agency told the court that it received information that there were suspicious funds transferred to Cornelius and the company accounts, which funds were suspected to be proceeds of crime.

The Briton provided a share purchase agreement to the effect that he allegedly received Sh62,000,000 as consideration from a share purchase agreement with respect to Dalton Limited between Heather Anne Cornelius & Natasha Cornelius and Thomas Morton & Emma Morton.

However, the explanation that was not satisfactory as he could not give a clear explanation on the source of funds as at one time he alleged that the funds were as a result of the sale of family asset and in another instance, he stated that the source of the funds was from closure proceeds of his personal account held at JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York.

The company holds two personal accounts at DTB Bank Limited bothKSHS) and USD in which Cornelius received large sums of money totaling to USD I, 101,792 from an account held in the name of Jossimba Limited domiciled at Bank One Limited in Mauritius.

ARA conducted investigations which revealed that the Respondent’s accounts had received huge suspicious cash deposits/transfers both in US dollars and Kenya shillings.

Investigations have revealed that it was a scheme of money laundering aimed at disguising the source and destination of the funds hence proceeds of crime pursuant to the Provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA) liable to be forfeited to the Government.

The court heard that the investigations had uncovered that Cornelius’ father had been convicted over massive fraud that had involved 500 million USD in Dubai.

The court heard that Cornelius had produced a letter to confirm the closure of Bank Account Number  belonging to Jossimba Limited with a balance of USD 446,150.27 which was closed on 11th March 2021 because of a change in the Bank’s internal Policy.

He had also explained that he intended to obtain an investment visa in Kenya and the conditions were that he should have a bank account with a minimum of USD 100,000 to facilitate the process.

The Share purchase agreement produced by Cornelius was not satisfactory as he had not been party to the transaction. When probed why the money was deposited into his account and not the vendor’s, he had explained that he had been the only contact person of the sellers who were based in Britain.

The sale had also been conducted in 2017 while the funds were deposited into his account in 2021. He had alleged that the funds from the land sale had been deposited into the advocates accounts in Kenya, wired to Pakistan and invested in Global Gums Limited under a loan agreement earning him 15.5% interest yet he was not the vendor, the loan agreement was not produced and the total funds did not add up to the interest rate.

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