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Anglo Leasing firm not ghost, says UK fraud unit




Swiss-based lawyer Marc Henzelin hired by Kenya to seek evidence linked to the Anglo Leasing contracts in Switzerland testifies before the Anti-Corruption Court last July. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) Thursday revealed to the anti-corruption court that a firm linked to the Anglo Leasing contracts were not ghost companies as it failed to offer evidence linking the company to fraud following its investigations.

Mr Clyde Marklew, senior investigator at SFO, told the anti-corruption court via video link that the UK investigations found registration documents and board resolution statements for Sound Day.

Sound Day was one of the firms offered multibillion- shilling tenders that the government cancelled as irregular in 2003 and was depicted in past accounts as a ghost company.

Mr Marklew failed to reveal whether the firm was engaged in economic crime following its probe of statements from Barclays Bank, HSBC Private Bank, Syndicate Bank and consultancy firm, Alexander and Co Partners.

The prosecution had arranged for Mr Marklew to shed light on the Anglo Leasing contracts, but his failure to offer details of the investigations prompted defence lawyers to opt not to cross-examine him.

SFO had in 2007 launched investigations into the Anglo Leasing contracts with a view to prosecute British businessmen, but closed the probe in 2009 after Kenyan Attorney General failed to provide evidence on the alleged corruption.

Mr Marklew said the SFO agreed to obtain evidence abroad on behalf of Kenya following request from the now defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission in 2007.

KACC had sought to be assisted with any document in Britain relevant to the Anglo Leasing investigations.

“The request we received related to Anglo Leasing security contracts, and KACC wanted information relevant to the inquiry it was conducting. The request included obtaining company and banking information, which we did,” explained Mr Marklew.

Besides bank statements, the documents obtained by the SFO included the memorandum of association, articles of incorporation, share certificate, and resolution of the board of directors.

The fraud office raided private and business addresses in the UK and seized some documents.

Mr Marklew could not commit to finding incriminating evidence in the documents they had received.

Other inquiries were made in the British tax havens of Jersey and Guernsey through which much of the money flowed.