A businesswoman accused of dealing in narcotics has been dealt a blow after the High Court ordered she forfeits Sh1.7 million and six motor vehicles to the state.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi declared that funds held at Sidian Bank and Diamond Trust Bank in Rose Momanyi’s name are proceeds of crime.
Momanyi was arrested at her residence on June 14, 2019 in Kinoo, Kiambu county. During her arrest, 796 grammes of heroin were recovered. She was then charged with trafficking in narcotic drugs.
Investigations began to recover proceeds of crime that accrued to her, Thomas Kunduti and Margaret Mugo through the trafficking in narcotic drugs. Kunduti is a partner of Momanyi in whose name motor vehicle KBY 184H is registered. Mugo, in whose name motor vehicle number KSCH 179N is registered is also a proxy of Momanyi.
Investigators established that the money in Momanyi’s accounts were made in tranches of below Sh1 million to evade the reporting threshold set by the Central Bank of Kenya, which require that an account holder declares the source of the money. They argued the monies were proceeds of crime and ought to be forfeited.
But the respondent disputed the suggestion and argued that she obtained the funds from the sale of her plot in Kakamega, some Sh500,000 which she inherited from her deceased husband, and from the sale of second hand clothes and from a matatu business.
But Ngugi said despite Momanyi being the owner of at least six mini-buses and a vendor of second hand clothes, she had not placed before court any documents that could establish the earnings came from her business.
“She has, however, placed handwritten documents in which she avers that her matatus were often hired for long distance journeys. There is no way of authenticating these documents,” the judge said.
Ngugi said Momanyi has not shown a legitimate source of the funds. She said the explanation with respect to the purchase of the motor vehicles was confusing. Court records showed that the agreement for the sale of one of the vehicles between Momanyi and Mugo was dated May 8, 2018. Purchase price was Sh2.7 million although Momanyi said it was Sh3.1 million.
“Perhaps Momanyi was attempting to use Thomas and Mugo to conceal her assets but given the obvious contradictions and disparities in their averments, it is clearly not a well thought-out ploy,” Ngugi said.