Members of Parliament (MPs) have today approved the Anti-money laundering Amendment Bill 2021.
This means money launderers have no where else to hide and will face hefty penalties if found guilty. The passing of the bill also gives room to the state to use the available tools to put an end to the menace.
Over the recent couple of months, cases of money laundering have been rampant with authorities arresting the culprits and seizing huge sums of money.
Among the issues that have hindered the fight against the menace was the lack of sufficient evidence and tools to prosecute and bring those found guilty to books.
Ideally, the laws that existed had left out key factors that were essential in fighting the crime.
The passing of the Bill by the MPs stipulates at least 14 years jail term with an option of Sh5 million fine if found participating in any form of money laundering schemes.
Ideally, Corporate organizations are not left out as those that will be found to have participated in the money laundering deals will be fined Sh25 million or an equivalent of the amount that involves the case.
Speaking during the session, the National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya applauded the move stating that it will aid in putting the menace to an end.
“We have as honorable members removed our country from the list of the countries notoriously named as dens of money laundering and wash wash,” Kimunya retorted.
Notably, the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has five days to investigate any claims on proceeds of money laundering and if found guilty, the prosecution process continues. However, if after the investigations the agency finds the funds/money as okay and not involved in money laundering, they will not be affected.
Some sections of the bill also recommend that lawyers and legal practitioners can report any dubious transactions of their clients to the Financial Reporting Center (FRC).
The bill will be turned into law after President Uhuru Kenyatta spends his signature.
In a detailed analysis earlier in July, Kahawa Tungu revealed how wash wash business runs in Kenya.
From flashy Cars, the latest designer clothes, Rolex watches, hanging out in the most expensive clubs, drinking expensive liquor and being surrounded by beautiful women, it is very easy to spot the wash wash guys even from afar.
Mostly, they have no specific source of living and use the phrases “Ni Mungu tuu” or call themselves “flamboyant businessmen.”
There are different scams of wash wash with the most popular being the tender scams. This one is carried out mostly by politicians and their proxies. Notice of Tender / Advertisement is placed in local newspapers and you an aspiring tenderpreneur quickly gets wind of it.
You apply by emailing all the necessary documents, certificate of incorporation, prequalification documents and KRA pins. After a few weeks, you get a call and you are told to visit one of the govt offices where you are introduced to person A and B.
The persons ask for your bank statement and after a few chit-chats, they ask for a bribe in form of a gift so as to award you the tender. Knowing too well that you are going to benefit heavily from the deal you decide to bribe the “officials”.
After a few days or even a week, you are given an award letter and an LPO of the things you are to deliver to the govt. The ball is now in your court as you start the hustle of looking for a way to fulfill your end.
Most govt tenders go even up to billions and you take loans, borrow money and eventually do order for the equipment. Little do you know that the said officials have been keeping a tab on you and when you are ready to deliver they suggest that they will come and pick it up themselves.
The game continues and before you know it, you have been scammed millions of money.
Many Kenyans have fallen prey to this scam and it often leads to depression and at times even suicide but the perpetrators always walk free, flaunting their illegally earned wealth.