By Roy Hezron
The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) has set up the Sacco Societies Fraud Investigation Unit (SSFIU) through a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to formalize its establishment.
According to the Authority’s Chairperson Mr. John Munuve, the establishment and operationalization of the Unit (SSFIU) will restore the lost glory of the Sacco sector and create a good collaborative environment in bringing to book those who defraud Sacco members of their hard earn savings.
Munuve disclosed that the SSFIU will ever remain critical in complementing the prudential supervision conventionally undertaken by SASRA’s technical staff, by taking-up identified cases of fraudulent conduct during prudential supervision and investigating the same.
“We view this MOU as an important and serious commitment to work closely with DCI in transforming the SACCO subsector,” said Munuve.
He added: “A time has come when the safety of members’ savings and deposits in Saccos must be guaranteed and always assured. This is the only way in which citizens will use or consider using Saccos as an alternative and worthy investment destination for their savings.”
Munuve who was speaking during the signing of the MoU in November 22, 2021 revealed that the formed Unit is expected to collaborate with the Authority to develop and implement robust market surveillance and monitoring mechanism to prevent frauds or disrupt planned fraudulent activities in SACCOs.
On his part, the DCI representative John Gachomo urged stakeholders within the SACCO subsector to fully embrace the newly created Unit as a lever to the transformation of the SACCO movement in Kenya.’
“It is important to stress that in today’s economy; financial transactions are heavily conducted using technology and other digital services. And SACCOs have not been left behind in this,” said Gachomo.
The unit will be domiciled at SASRA and is expected to detect and prevent fraud as part of improved corporate governance in the Sacco sector in line with SASRA’s Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.
In March 2020, DCI seconded three financial fraud officers to SASRA to lay the groundwork for the operationalization of the Unit.
Two more investigative officers have been seconded by the DCI to the Unit to improve its capacity to follow up cases efficiently and expeditiously, making the unit to currently have five investigative officers all from the DCI.