University Student's Account With Ksh100 Million Frozen

  • Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel and 21-year-old girlfriend Felista Njoroge pose for a photo.
    Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel and 21-year-old girlfriend Felista Njoroge pose for a photo.
    (Courtesy)
  • The court has ordered the immediate freezing of a 21-year-old university student's bank account which was found with Ksh102,654,024.

    Justice Esther Maina ordered the student's account to be frozen for 90 days to allow the Asset Recover Agency (ARA) establish the source of the money.

    ARA had moved to court seeking orders to freeze the account until investigations are carried out conclusively. ARA believed that the funds could have been wired unlawfully and for unknown reasons.

    Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe in 2017
    Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe in 2017
    Courtesy Merc De Mesel Twitter

    “An order is hereby issued prohibiting the respondent, her employees, agents, servants or any other persons acting on their behalf from transacting, withdrawing, transferring, and, or dealing in any manner in respect of any profits or benefits derived or accrued from the funds,” the Judge directed.

    ARA believed that the respondent was involved in a money-laundering scheme designed to conceal and disguise the nature, source location and movement of the funds.

    “Unless this honourable court grants the orders sought, the respondent will continue to enjoy the benefits derived from proceeds of crime," reads the court documents by ARA.

    The student's boyfriend, Merc De Mesel, has since made a statement indicating that he sent the money to her. Messel is a bitcoin billionaire, having started trading in the virtual currency in 2008.

    Messel noted that he followed the right procedure including  filling paperwork with the bank.

    "As investors with every exchange and every bank, you need to do this constantly and there is a trace on where the money is coming from. It's from my investments and my brokerage," the bitcoin investor stated.

    "I knew there were more unlawful activities in Africa than Europe but without any notice, summon or question by police, suddenly being apprehended in my home, seizing my laptop, phone and passport, taken away handcuffed, as well as my pregnant girlfriend, I did not expect," he added.

    Preliminary investigations revealed  that the account held no cash before August 4, 2021. 

    On the said date, a first deposit of Ksh25,803,756 was deposited. A second deposit of Ksh25,803,756 was made on August 5 with the third and fourth deposits coming in on August 6 but as separate transactions of Ksh25,242,756 and Ksh25,579,356. 

    Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe in 2017
    Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe in 2017
    Courtesy Merc De Mesel Twitter