Tuesday, 16 April 2013

KENYA: CJ appoints 60 anti-corruption magistrates

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at a past meeting. Photo/FILE
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at a past meeting. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
By ALLAN ODHIAMBO aodhiambo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, April 16  2013 at  11:42
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has appointed 60 special magistrates to handle cases on anti-corruption and economic crimes.
All in the rank of principal magistrates, the officers will occasionally be moved to new stations, Dr Mutunga said.
The appointment of special magistrates is a requirement of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
“A special magistrate may pass upon any person convicted by him any sentence authorised by law for the punishment of the offence of which such person is convicted,” the Act partly states.
Corruption and economic crimes remain a major concern among Kenyans who continue to agitate for action by the government and the political class.
Several regulations such as the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Regulations 2013 have been drafted to try and tame the menace through which a lot of resources are plundered.
According this law, dealings by elected officials and top public servants will be placed under close scrutiny under a new regulatory regime meant to keep dirty money out of circulation.
The rules which buttressed the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 were published early this month by former Finance minister Njeru Githae.
Money laundering
The regulations limit the amount of money that one can carry while entering or leaving Kenya at $10,000 (Sh855,000) at the current exchange rates.
“Any person intending to convey into or out of Kenya monetary instruments equivalent to or exceeding $10,000 or its equivalent in Kenya shillings or any other currency, shall before doing so declare the particulars of those monetary instruments to a customs officer,” the rules state.
They aim to curb illegal dealings that compromised the integrity of civil servants especially during the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scandals.
“A reporting institution (mostly commercial banks) will be required to take adequate measures to establish the source of wealth and the source of funds which are involved in the proposed business relationship or transaction where a customer or beneficial owner is a politically exposed person,” the new regulations state.
Institutions transacting business with public officials will be required to obtain information on the immediate family members or close associates of the officers with authority over the account.
“A reporting institution shall have appropriate risk management systems to determine whether the customer or beneficial owner is a politically exposed person,” the rules state.
Nature of account
The reporting institutions will be filing their money laundering findings with the Financial Reporting Centre with regard to purpose of the transaction, volume and nature of account.
“A reporting institution will be required to review public sources of information on the politically exposed person,” the rules say.

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