The United Kingdom has sent special investigators into the country to help Kenyan authorities monitor attempts by suspects of corruption to change old notes by exchanging the soon to be out of circulation old currency with Sterling Pounds.
According to the Outgoing British High Commissioner Nic Hailey, the UK is keen on the war against graft and is closely monitoring persons who want to change Kenyan notes into sterling.
Speaking at a commemorative event to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 93rd birthday at his official residence in Nairobi Thursday evening, Hailey vowed that politicians who have stashed billions of shillings in the UK and its jurisdictions would be brought to book.
“We are working hard. We know corruption is pushing back. Money that has been stolen and stacked in international accounts must be recovered and the culprits must be prosecuted,” he stated.
“The process is long and complicated. We are tracking bank accounts. The suspects are clever and can attempt to divert the money to other accounts but we shall get them. It is time some big thieves went to jail,” Hailey reiterated.
Although he did not give details of how much stolen money was in foreign accounts, he affirmed that the prosecution team in the UK had reported to him that significant steps had been made.
Key for the UK would be to provide forensic evidence and concrete money trails that would point Kenyan detectives towards stashes of cash and assets purchased from illegal proceeds.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) redesigned the 1, 5, 10 and 20 shilling coins in December 2018 and begun releasing the new 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 shilling notes in the second phase of the transition to the new currency on June 1st.
The introduction of the new currency notes was in a bid to not only tackle illicit financial flows but also cash counterfeiting as well as to arrest tax cheats.
The CBK has given a directive that all old Ksh1,000 notes be replaced with the new generation notes before the end of October this year.