On Monday, prosecutors in Kenya charged three Chinese nationals for handing out bribes on a massive railway project.
The workers were arrested in Mombasa for trying to bribe investigators, “with amounts totaling 90,000 Kenyan shillings (US$8,800),” according to Channel News Asia. Specifically, the men had offered investigators Kshs. 500,000 (US$4,8783), “to influence the investigation in their favor.”
The investigation revealed that a ticketing scam implemented by the accused had been diverting US$8,800 from ticket sales on a daily basis.
The men work for the China Roads and Bridges company which is in charge of the railway project constructed last year, as well as for its current operation, which is currently bringing US$3.2 billion in revenues from ticket sales.
The railway runs from the country’s capital to the port city of Mombasa and is the largest railway project in Kenya.
The Chinese nationals are currently held in a maximum security prison in Mombasa and await a judge’s decision on their bond application, which will be delivered next week.
China is an important source of finance for African countries in the area of technology, equipment and have greatly improved public infrastructure.
The investigation bribe comes at a time when Chinese migration is the object of public criticism against the government, allegedly on grounds that Chinese nationals who have come to Kenya to work in infrastructure projects are taking away jobs from locals.
Another criticism is centered around Chinese companies taking away contracts from Kenyan firms.