A Nigerian man was arrested with Ksh123 million in cash stashed inside a hand luggage at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday, December 4.
The bag contained $ 880,000 (Ksh 97 million), 63,000 Nigerian Naira (Ksh18 million) and 60,000 euros (Ksh 8 million).
The Nigerian was intercepted inside the airport after alighting from a flight that had landed from Lagos, Nigeria. The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) stated that he was en route to boarding another flight to Dubai.
ARA seized the cash which was handed to airport authorities for record and safekeeping after the suspect failed to provide documents that allowed him to carry such a huge amount of money.
The agency suspected him to be a money launderer as Section 12 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act requires a person to declare any amount above $10,000 (Ksh 1 million).
Detectives argued that he could have transferred money to banks in the Middle East rather than travelling with cash.
However, the West African national claimed that he was heading to Dubai for legitimate business as opposed to laundering money.
ARA wants the court to freeze the funds pending a hearing and determination. Section 12 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act allows the agency to seek orders seizing money within five days on grounds that it may be illegal.
“The respondent did not disclose the source of the cash, the business he was doing and the basis of moving with cash of that magnitude,” Fedrick Musyoki, ARA's police investigator stated.
On August 14, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) placed Kenya under its radar and warned that the nation was prone to scammers and money launderers. According to the report, Kenya lost over Ksh 21 billion to cybercrimes and online scammers in 2017.
FBI added that Kenya is a source of scams and destination of money garnered through cyber fraud. Dubai has also been flagged by various global security bodies as a safe haven for money launderers.
Raymond Abbas (Hushpuppi), a Nigerian citizen, was apprehended in Dubai and accused of conspiracy to launder millions of money through cybercrime.
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