German bank rejects suspicious Sh785 million transfer to CBK

Kenya Power and state officials have been hesitant to receive the money

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge

A bank in Germany has rejected Sh785 million which was transferred into an account by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

According to a report in the Business Daily, the Sh785 million was deposited by the Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) as a refund for excess pay from Kenya Power.

The payment had been explained as reimbursement for idle power prices paid in excess in 2018.

The German lender, however, rejected it claiming a lack of information about the final beneficiary of the millions of shillings deposited in the CBK account. The foreign lender also wanted supporting evidence for the payment.

German banking regulator BaFin has enhanced scrutiny of transactions as a measure against money laundering violations.

The crackdown on money laundering in the European country has resulted in multi-billion shilling fines for lenders.

The National Assembly is probing the circumstances in which Kenya Power made the extra payment to LTWP.

Also under investigation is why the power firm and state officials have been hesitant to receive the money.

According to the LTWP, the cash was moved to the Frankfurt account in December after Kenya Power submitted the CBK bank credentials for the transfer.

The National Assembly is in possession of a letter sent by the Lake Turkana Wind Power firm to Kenya Power, voicing its dissatisfaction with the Sh790 million return, which few government officials want to be connected with.

MPs probe suspicious Sh785 million sent to Frankfurt, Germany

Since December 23, the power producer has contacted Kenya Power three times and the CBK twice in search of the necessary evidence to justify the transfer of the overpayment.

CBK has remained silent, while Kenya Power, in a brief letter addressed to LTWP on January 27, transferred the responsibility to the Ministry of Energy.

LTWP communicated to KPLC (via email) on 23 December 2021, that the payment had been returned and to provide an appropriate contact person at Central Bank of Kenya, or the additional banking information required.

We subsequently reached out to both again on 3 January 2021 and 12 January 2021 but with unfortunately no response received yet,” said Phylip Leferink, the chief executive of Lake Turkana Wind Power.

The Turkana wind firm is one of the cheaper power producers in the country, but is embroiled in mismanagement as well as credibility questions after it emerged that electricity consumers are paying to it billions of shillings for late completion of a high voltage transmission line.

The National Assembly Public Investment Committee has summoned Kenya Power officials to appear on Thursday February 3, to answer questions regarding the suspicious transaction.

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