25 February 2016
On 24 February 2016, Windward Trading Limited, a Jersey registered company, pleaded guilty to four counts of money laundering before the Royal Court of Jersey. The Royal Court imposed a confiscation order of £3,281,897.40 and US$540,330.69, thereby stripping the company of all its assets.
Windward admitted to laundering the proceeds of corruption between 29 July 1999 and 19 October 2001. The corrupt activities took place in Kenya where Windward’s beneficial owner, Samuel Gichuru, is resident. During the period on the indictment, Mr Gichuru was also the Chief Executive of Kenya Power and Lighting Company [KPLC], the Kenyan government’s electricity utility company. KPLC awarded valuable contracts to a number of engineering and energy companies worldwide who all made corrupt payments to Windward. The confiscation order provides an indication as to the scale of the criminal conduct that took place.
The conviction of Windward is the result of a ground breaking international investigation that was conducted by the Jersey Law Officers’ Department under the supervision of the former Solicitor General, Howard Sharp QC. The evidence in this money laundering case is extensive and the investigation took many years to complete. Documents and witness evidence were secured by legal assistance from twelve jurisdictions in order to prove complex cross border money laundering techniques.
In June 2011, the Attorney General of Jersey requested the extradition of Samuel Gichuru and Chrysanthus Okemo, former Kenyan Energy Minister, from Kenya to face money laundering charges in Jersey in connection with Windward’s activities. The extradition proceedings are still ongoing.
The Attorney General of Jersey, Robert MacRae QC, stated “This is a very important case, demonstrating Jersey’s commitment to combatting money-laundering and tackling international corruption. I look forward to discussions with the Kenyan authorities on an asset sharing agreement in order to repatriate the confiscated funds to Kenya in an appropriate manner.“