U.S., 10 Nations Mull Travel Bans for Corrupt Kenyan Officials

The U.S., Canada, Japan and eight European nations are considering imposing travel bans on unidentified Kenyan officials responsible for the African country’s widespread corruption, diplomats in the capital said.

“People shouldn’t enjoy the benefits of ill-gotten gains in London or Geneva or anywhere and we will assist Kenya in any way to stop this,” U.K. High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner told reporters Thursday in Nairobi.

Corruption “deters investment and costs jobs,” U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec told reporters, reading from a joint statement after meeting officials from Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. The group of 11 diplomats, who also included representatives of Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland, pledged to help Kenyan authorities recover any stolen assets from their respective countries.

Graft is deep-rooted in Kenya, which is ranked in the bottom quarter of the 177 nations on Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perception Index. As much as a third of gross domestic product is lost annually due to graft and at least 30 percent of the government’s budget is unaccounted for because of mismanagement, poor accounting practices and leakages, according to the state prosecutor’s office.

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