After this weekend, the loopholes that have sheltered corrupt individuals and institutions holding vast amount of suspect money will be closed.
The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act comes into force on Monday. It should go a long way towards enabling the police, the Attorney-General, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and the Central Bank catch up with criminal entities that have found Kenya a safe haven for illicit cash.
Individuals and organisations unable to account for funds in their possession have in the past been sheltered by the courts on the grounds that there are no specific laws against money laundering.
Therefore, proceeds of funds generated through illegal means such as drug trafficking, gun-smuggling, terrorism and mega corruption could have easily been ‘‘cleansed’’ in Kenya and funnelled into legitimate business and investment channels. There are reasons to believe that this has been happening.
Finally we have the legal regime to identify, trace, freeze and seize proceeds of crime. However, a law is only as good as how it is enforced.
Our problem has not been weak or non-existent laws, but the inability or refusal of the police, the AG, KACC and other authorities to pursue the influential cartels behind organised crime and mega corruption.
It is not for lack of adequate laws that those turning Kenya into a haven for criminals still walk free; it is failure to apply existing laws.