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Chinese in court over Kenya rail probe bribe

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By DAILY NATION
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Three Chinese nationals were Monday charged with offering a $5,000 (Sh500,000) bribe to an inspector of police and his team for favour in the investigation on fraud at the Mombasa railway terminus in Kenya.

The three are employees of the China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) at the terminus of the standard gauge railway (SGR) in Miritini.

The three are Li Gen, who is in charge of transport, security manager Li Xiaowu and Sun Xin, a staff member.

They were charged with the offence of giving a bribe, following consent by the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Noordin Haji.

The three faced another count of offering a $2,000 (Sh200,000) bribe while Mr Xiaowu faced a similar charge in a third count.

The accused denied the charges but the prosecution opposed their release saying they were flight risks.

Mr Ingonga argued that the accused are foreigners with no fixed abode.

Through lawyer Nelson Sitonik, the suspects sought to be released on bond saying they would abide by all conditions set by the court.

Mr Sitonik further said the three live at the SGR Mombasa terminus and have no intention of jumping bail.

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“They reside in the terminus. Within it is a police station. They are willing to be reporting daily to the officer in charge at the terminus,” he said, and added that the accused have no intention of interfering with investigations.

The three will be remanded at Port Police Station in Mombasa until Friday, when a ruling on their release will be issued.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya has sent its officers to check on the three.

The embassy issued a statement saying it hopes Kenyan authorities will protect their legal rights.

A suspected multi-million-shilling ticketing fraud has hit the Mombasa-Nairobi train service with detectives investigating a complex web that involves insiders skimming off a significant portion of revenue from each trip.

On Friday, things took a dramatic turn when detectives of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Mombasa arrested the three Chinese nationals and their four Kenyan counterparts, all employees of the CRBC.

The Kenya Railways Corporation earlier directed the CRBC, the operator of Madaraka Express, to take action against employees found to have interfered with ticketing.

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