Chinese workers on Kenya rail project face bribery charges

  • Chinese men work for the China Roads and Bridge Corp. at the Standard Gauge Railway in the coastal city of Mombasa
  • Investigators probe if they skimmed money from the train service’s daily revenue
PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 10:35am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 10:22pm

Three Chinese nationals will be charged by the country’s anticorruption authority for paying a bribe to influence the outcome of fraud investigations, Kenya’s director of public prosecutions said.

The three Chinese men work for the China Roads and Bridge Corp. at the Standard Gauge Railway in the coastal city of Mombasa, Noordin Haji said in a statement.

Haji said the three will be charged with giving a bribe of US$5,000.

Part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, the majority-Chinese financed Standard Gauge Railway is Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence from Britain in 1963.

Critics say the 610km (380-mile) project is overpriced and isn’t value for money.

In total it will cost US$8 billion and critics have made comparisons to the Chinese-financed Ethiopian electric train to Djibouti which is 750km (465 miles) and cost US$3.4 billion.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a global endeavour aimed at reconstituting the Silk Road and linking China to all corners of Asia.

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According to local media, investigators were looking into allegations that the three Chinese men and four Kenyans were part of a group skimming millions of shillings from the train service’s daily revenue.

The seven men were to be charged in court on Monday with bribery charges, according to the Daily Nation.