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Kenyan officers arrive to look into passport scandal.

DETECTIVES from Kenya have arrived in Liverpool to investigate an alleged pounds 21m financial scandal.

Two officers from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission are in the city to interview Colin Flynn, an accountant from West Derby.

Their inquiries relate to how Anglo-Leasing and Finance, which has an office in Alpha House in Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth, won a contract from the Kenyan government to provide terrorism-proof passport making equipment.

Earlier this year, the Daily Post revealed how investigators were trying to discover how the firm was able to secure the pounds 21m contract when nobody outside senior Government circles knew the work was being offered.

A Kenyan government report into the deal suggested the company may have had inside knowledge which allowed it to make an unsolicited bid.

The Kenyan detectives are being helped in their probe by the British Foreign Office and the International Crime Unit of Merseyside Police.

Kenyan parliament records have shown the passport deal was signed on behalf of Anglo-Leasing by Mr Flynn. Father-of-three Mr Flynn works as an accountant for Liverpool property company Saagar Associates, which also has an office in Alpha House, in Toxteth.

The Daily Post contacted his solicitors Powell Forman Kelly, but they declined to comment.

Balido Kaplich, a spokesman for the Kenyan Anti Corruption Commission, told the Daily Post: "It would be important to talk to him (Colin Flynn) as he had been a major part in the investigation."

Four high-ranking Kenyan officials have been suspended as a result of the inquiry into the deal.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm that the UK authorities are assisting the Kenyan authorities in the ALF scandal but there is however no separate UK investigation.

"We share the Kenyan authorities' desire to uncover the truth and bring the guilty to justice and we therefore offer them our full co-operation."

The detectives have said they want to talk to the Swiss managing director of AngloLeasing, Michel Gruring and Dr Merlyn Kettering, a consultant who worked in Kenya but left the country in June.

Speaking from Lausanne in Switzerland, Mr Gruring last night said his company had done nothing wrong.

He said Anglo-Leasing only provided the finance for the project and was not involved with negotiating the contract.

He said: "The Kenyans called last week and asked if we could meet. They have not bothered to call since.

"This is because people do not understand the role of a finance company. We did not negotiate the contract in Kenya. I have only been to Kenya once in 10 years and that was on holiday.

"We were only there to provide finance. In fact we do not normally finance projects in Africa at all. We more often do projects like hotels."

He added an initial payment of pounds 630,821 paid to the company by the Kenyans had been returned because "we didn't want any problems". And he described Mr Flynn as the "UK representative" of Anglo-Leasing.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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