Kenya: Eurobond billions held in US bank accounts

To: Jaluo Dotkom jaluo@jaluo.com
From: Joachim Omolo Ouko

News Dispatch with Omolo Joachim

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FOUR SMOKING GUNS IN EUROBOND SAGA

SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2016

Victor from Webuye writes: “Fr Omolo your article you wrote sometime last year on Eurobond scandals and what the Standard wrote today on how Eurobond billions held in US bank accounts and bogus letters is matching well with your analysis.

In your article you had mentioned Mr Jacob Juma. Who is he and what does he know about the Eurobond? In today’s article in Standard Director of Prosecution seems to doubt the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) findings, why do you think the commission is in favor of the government?”

Thank you for this important question Victor. Jacob Juma is a renowned business man who was among the first to release part of how Eurobond money was embezzled: the Government of Kenya he says raised Sovereign bond in Irish Stock Market and used Lawyer client accounts to move the money. No bank to bank was used due to money laundering constraints.

He argues that when the money hit the lawyer’s accounts, they moved the money based on instructions by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mr. Henry Rotich and his Principal Secretary, Mr. Thugge. In-fighting among the lawyers handling Kenya’s Eurobond began immediately pay-outs began.

Part of Eurobond money he says was transferred to Commercial Bank of Afica owned by Uhuru’s family. About US$200-$300 of Eurobond money he says was used to refund all campaign money for 2013 elections. Some money was transferred by the lawyers directly to the Office of the President and out the back in gunny bags. A Sheikh in the Gulf was refunded unspecified amount advanced just before the elections (US$20 million) as well using Eurobond.

Juma also claims that they also paid Std Chartered Bank Syndicated loan of about US$600 million and pocketed a massive chunk of it. He has not mentioned the lawyer in connection with the Eurobond but promised he will publish complete list of the lawyers involved and the movement of Eurobond money.

Yes, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has refused to close the investigative file in the Sh250 billion Eurobond scandals until the anti-graft agency explains “some” gaps in their report. The reason why the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is trying to do its finding in favor of the government I cannot say. But remember this is Kenya.

The DPP said he had summoned investigating officers from the EACC and from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to give the answers, but they had failed to answer satisfactorily, and thus, he ordered them to go back, look at the files and provide missing information. Tobiko did not say exactly what the nature of the missing information is. The EACC wants the case closed.

I also read with shock how Standard reported the four smoking guns in hazy figures how Eurobond billions held in US bank accounts and bogus letters. The Eurobond $2 million — actually US$1,998,997,763 — was paid into the JP Morgan Chase account on June 24, 2014.

At the time, JP Morgan Chase had received no advice as to who the signatories to the account were. These were eventually sent, but then, despite the fact that June 30 is the end of the financial year in Kenya, it took more than a week before there was any action on the account. We were now into the next financial year, which posed a number of problems.

The question is, why would someone authorise the transfer to Kenya of the apparently random sum of US$395,439,262.50? That exact figure of one billion dollars provides the FIRST SMOKING GUN. Why wasn’t, for example, a round figure such as US$400 million transferred? Why not US$500 million? Why was money kept in the US in a holding account when it was apparently badly needed in Kenya?

Unlike in the case of the other sums of money transferred, there is no evidence whatsoever that any part of this money ever came to Kenya.

The account at JP Morgan Chase was closed – but, far from being transferred to Kenya, the money was moved to another US bank! This is the SECOND SMOKING GUN. The Treasury has put on its website a document showing the transfer from JP Morgan Chase to the Federal Reserve Bank. But the document does not show the name of the holder of the account at the Federal Reserve Bank or any other details – unlike other documents that relate to the money when it was at JP Morgan Chase.

This brings us to a bigger question: What are they hiding? Who owns the account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York? It is now 18 months since that money was transferred. Where is any statement from the Federal Reserve Bank showing the balance in that account, and details of any transactions made on it during those 18 months, in particular the transfer to Kenya of this money? Why hasn’t the Treasury posted any such documents on its website? What are they hiding?

Another very curious document posted on the Treasury website is a statement of account from JP Morgan Chase for the period June 15 to June 30, 2014, a couple of months prior to the transfer to the Federal Reserve Bank. This is the THIRD SMOKING GUN. The money was not waiting there at all. The letters are not worth the paper on which they are written. They are just so much hot air and deceit.

The letters are purportedly dated September 15, September 19, October 28 – all in 2014 – and January 21, March 16, June 2 and June 26, all in 2015. They purportedly ask respectively for the seven sums of Sh25 billion, Sh25 billion, Sh15 billion, Sh25 billion, Sh25 billion, Sh30 billion and Sh17,268,281,131.75 to be transferred from the GoK/CBK Sovereign Bond dollar account to the Consolidated Fund.

The figures all add up to Sh162 billion, which is presumably the shilling equivalent of the nearly one billion dollars still held in the US – at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (that is, as far as we know), together with the Tap Sale proceeds of US$815 million that we accounted for earlier.

The letters are meant to show that the one billion dollars was received in Kenya. They actually show no such thing. These letters are a blatant cover-up. There is not one single document, as would be expected in the normal course of banking procedures, to show any correspondence whatsoever with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concerning our remaining nearly one billion dollars, let alone any instruction to transfer the money to Kenya.

These bogus letters and tables combine to make the FOURTH SMOKING GUN. Every senior person in the CBK and the Treasury and every lawyer advising either organisation must be able to look at these facts and figures and letters and tables.

If this nearly one billion dollars was transferred to Kenya, we need to see very clearly when and how. We need to see all the documents and whatever else is available that can constitute accurate, authentic and irrefutable proof that our money is safe. Without these documents, we can only say that this money is not “missing” or “lost”, or “unaccounted for”, as it is often politely described, but STOLEN.

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) Raila Odinga had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government and all companies that were involved in transactions that led to the Euro Bond scandal. CORD, through letters to the institutions, are now demanding the release of an official statements and clear accounts explaining to the public how the scandal occurred.

CORD has written to Mr. Henry K. Rotich, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury; Dr. Kamau Thugge, Principal Secretary for National Treasury, Barclays Bank PLC; London, United Kingdom, J.P. Morgan Securities, London, United Kingdom, QNB Capital LLC, Doha, Qatar and Standard Bank PLC, London, United Kingdom.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
E-mail obolobeste@gmail.com
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Twitter-@omolobeste

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