Anti-corruption detectives on Thursday conducted a raid to top lands officials homes, confiscating Sh18 million and other documents.
The cash, which was in Kenya shillings and US dollars, was seized in one of the homes searched by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in a continued investigation of a compensation scheme involving the Standard Gauge Railway project.
The raid sanctioned by the court saw top lands commission officers detained including National Lands Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri, Vice Chairman Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe, chief executive officer Tom Aziz Chavangi, finance director Francis Mugo and his deputy, Ben Cherutich.
EACC deputy chief executive Michael Mubea said that the cash recovered was suspected to be corruption proceedings asked by the officers. “We have recovered crucial documents which will aid in our investigation. We have also recovered almost Sh18m, Sh16 millions of which are in foreign currency and the rest in Kenyan shillings,” he said.
"We cannot cast aspersions on anyone this early and we cannot reveal the identity of the official found with the money because of confidentiality,” he added.
EACC spokesman Yasin Aila said that they are analyzing some of the documents seized while the officials continue to record statements on the incident.
The lands commission offices were also raided where EACC detectives took away documents and electronics that will aid in getting evidence on the corruption purge the commissioners are said to have been involved in.
“So far, important documents helpful to the investigations have been identified and recovered. Upon completion of the investigation EACC will forward a report and the inquiry file to the Director of Public Prosecutions with appropriate recommendations,” Aila said.
Among the plots of land in question in the irregular payments case are five parcels in Embakasi valued at a combined Sh215 million.
Earlier, the Lands ministry seemed to confirm that Sh1 billion may have been lost in the irregular payments.