Jersey agrees to return money laundering assets to Kenya

Added 8th March 2017

Jersey chief minister Ian Gorst has signed an agreement to allow the return of over £3m ($3.65m, €3.46m) of stolen assets to Kenya.

Jersey agrees to return money laundering assets to Kenya

The agreement between both governments comes after the assets were confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016, when defendant company Windward Trading Limited pleaded guilty to four counts of laundering the proceeds of corruption.

The corrupt activities took place in Kenya where Windward's beneficial owner, Samuel Gichuru, is resident.

During the indictment period, Gichuru was also the chief executive of Kenya Power and Lighting Company, the Kenyan government's electricity utility company.

In June 2011, the attorney general of Jersey requested the extradition of Samuel Gichuru and Chrysanthus Okemo, the former Kenyan energy minister, from Kenya to face money laundering charges in Jersey in connection with Windward's activities.

The extradition proceedings are still ongoing, the Jersey government said in a statement.

Gorst said the agreement gave a powerful message that both Jersey and Kenya were committed to combatting issues of historic corruption and financial crime.

"The process is one that has understandably taken some time because of the legal complexities of confiscation and asset sharing. The completion of this agreement is a step towards ensuring these funds are returned to the people of Kenya, where they rightfully belong."

The Kenyan government’s principal secretary for the National Treasury, Kamau Thugge, said he welcomed the positive cooperation between Kenya and Jersey and looked forward to “an enhanced partnership in future”.

Gorst signed the agreement with Kenya as part of a delegation to build stronger relationships with Jersey's African partners, and also met with representatives of the British Chamber of Commerce in Kenya.

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Mark Battersby

Editor, International Adviser

International Adviser

Mark Battersby is editor of International Adviser. He is also programme director for International Adviser events in strategic expat locations around the world, and its flagship FundLinks conference in London. Mark joined Last Word Media in February 2012, having previously worked at Citywire, Interactive Investor International, and FT Business.

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