A senior official from Tana River County Government was on Tuesday intercepted with Sh2.7 million in cash at the Malindi International Airport while enroute to Nairobi.
Mariam Abdalla Bunu, who is the Tana River County Finance Chief Officer, was said to have been destined for the capital city on an unknown official duty before she was nabbed.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says Mariam had not declared the cash to airport officials as is required by law and was unable to explain its source and intended use.
In a series of posts on social media, EACC said it received a report from police that a top Tana River County Government official had been arrested at the Malindi airport with unexplained cash.
Following the report, a team of EACC detectives rushed to the international airport and confirmed the arrest as executed by Malindi Airport Police Station OCS Hermann Ndegwa.
“EACC, on Tuesday, in collaboration with Malindi International Airport Police intercepted and arrested MARIAM ABDALLA BUNU, Ag Chief Officer for Finance in Tana River County Government, who was travelling to Nairobi with unexplained and undeclared Kes.2.7M in cash,” said EACC.
The agency added, “According to the documents that she was carrying, the Chief Officer was traveling to Nairobi for official duty. OCS Malindi Airport Police Station, C.I.P Hermann Ndegwa informed the EACC team that they had earlier arrested the suspect while in possession of unexplained and undeclared cash amounting to KES 2.7 Million.”
EACC suspects the cash was acquired corruptly from Tana River County and is probing Mariam for possible abuse of office, misuse of public funds and handling suspect property.
“EACC suspects that the amount, which the Chief Officer was unable to explain at the Airport and did not declare as required, was corruptly obtained from the Tana River County Government. She was escorted to EACC Malindi Offices where she recorded a statement,” EACC added.
The suspected county official was later freed on a Sh100,000 cash bail as police conclude their investigation into the matter as well as a lifestyle audit.
Mariam is among candidates shortlisted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the post of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) and is slated to be interviewed on March 6, 2023.