A nine month probe by DCI found no evidence of malpractices by Bluebird Aviation
Bluebird Aviation has scored a huge victory against detractors after DCI dismissed allegations of tax evasion, fraud and money laundering against the company.
A nine month investigation by DCI found no evidence of such malpractices on the part of the company and its three directors.
An estranged director had filed a complaint that his co-directors at Bluebird Aviation had siphoned more than $1 billion (Sh103 billion) from the airline through tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.
The investigations have now confirmed that the three shareholders and executives of Bluebird — Hussein Farah, Unshur Mohamed and Mohamed Abdikadir — are all innocent from financial malpractices.
Businessman Yussuf Adan, who is embroiled in a court battle against his fellow directors , had accused his co-shareholders of fraudulently channeling massive funds out of the company as part of a money laundering scheme.
A report by John Kariuki, the director of DCI Investigations Bureau said there was no evidence of malpractice. “The investigations have not established facts that may warrant the mounting of a prosecutable criminal case,” he said.
The clearance notice was filed in court on August 28, dismissing the wild allegations.
“The complainant did not provide the foundation for his allegations … and where he made claims, we found those claims far-fetched,” said Kariuki.
The clearance notice was the culmination of investigations by multi State agencies, including the Central Bank of Kenya, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and Financial Reporting Centre, which tracks illicit money.
The embittered Yussuf, had claimed that more $1 billion (about Sh103 billion) has been stolen from the airline in its 27 years of operation and put in offshore accounts and investments in Western capitals after being transported physically out of the country without declaration.
He also accused his three co-directors of allegedly misusing the airport passes granted for restricted areas in airports to illegally move the billions out of kenya.
Dismissing the allegations, the DCI report stated that investigations by its officers and those from KAA found no evidence of such activities.
The Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) also said it had not detected any breaches while tracking the flow of cash in and outside Blue Bird Aviation.
FRC added that Bluebird Aviation’s bankers — Commercial Bank of Africa — had never flagged any suspicious transactions linked to Blue Bird.
The DCI also reported that KRA also reviewed Blue Bird accounts and failed to detect tax evasion through false accounting.
The KRA is said to have reviewed Blue Bird bank accounts and financial dealings going several years back and matched bank deposits and payouts against daily revenue collections for several months to detect suspicious transactions.
“KRA assessment was that the company was tax compliant and that there was clarity and high level of financial documentation,” said the DCI.
Yussuf moved to the Supreme Court after failing to have a High Court decision that rejected the petition overturned on appeal.