Traffic cop at pains to explain Sh47m wealth

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A traffic police officer could not explain how he made Sh47 million in a period of six years, hence the reason the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) wants the fortune forfeited to the government.

Mr Jamal Bare Mohammed, a rider, used to patrol the Garissa-Thika Highway.

When asked by EACC to explain the source of his new-found wealth, the explanation was not satisfactory.

EACC is targeting Sh26 million in several accounts at Equity Bank, Thika Supreme Branch, which has since been frozen by a court order.

Through lawyer Philip Kagucia, EACC told the court on Monday that Mr Bare said part of the wealth was inheritance from his late father and trade in livestock.

However, he told Justice Mumbi Ngugi that EACC had tracked the police officer and recorded him receiving bribes after members of the public made a complaint.

Mr Bare, however, has objected to the use of video and photos as evidence.

Mr Paul Mugwe, a forensic investigator attached to the Commission, told the court that the officer was given an opportunity to explain how he made the money after finding a disparity between his assets and known legitimate sources of income.

Evidence produced in court showed that the 43-year-old officer used to make deposits in tranches of between Sh200,000 and Sh500,000 every week.

In the six-year period, the court heard that Mr Bare’s gross salary was between Sh33,050 and Sh8,630, per month, totaling to Sh1.8 million.

Mr Bare defended himself by saying his earnings were legitimate. The traffic officer said he was the sole custodian of his late father’s wealth, acting as trustee on behalf of his family.

He said after his father died in 1987, he took up the role of managing the inheritance after seeking the wise counsel of the rest of the family and relatives while adhering to Islamic law.

But the claims were dismissed by EACC, who argued that he was only 10-years-old when his father died and that there was nothing to back his claims.

Mr Bare also claimed that he traded in livestock which he inherited from his father for a period of more than 20 years, and that the business attracted good returns.

The officer, who joined the police force in August 1996, claimed he inherited some 120 camels, 80 cows and 200 goats from his father.

He said the animals had multiplied to 217 camels, 180 cows and 268 goats.

EACC said the animals, according to his own valuation, were worth about Sh4.3 million, and noted that the rest of the property and money were unexplained assets.

SOURCE: nation.co.ke

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