Ksh100M in Student's Account: Govt Agency Issues Conditions Before Releasing Millions

  • 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 Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has given an ultimatum to a 21-year-old university student whose bank account was frozen.

    Felista Nyamathira Njoroge had Ksh102 million in her account when the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) moved to court seeking orders to freeze the account until investigations are carried out to establish the source of the money.

    However, the State agency has thrown a spanner in the works, noting that for the account to be unfrozen, Njoroge must demonstrate how she has suffered or would suffer hardship if the money remained held.

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

    ARA, through an application, affirmed that the hardship would have to outweigh the risk of releasing the funds to her.

    "The funds in issue are presumed to be proceeds of crime and the applicant is not entitled to utilise the same pending the filing and determination of forfeiture application," read part of the application.

    Through her lawyer, Thomas Maosa, Nyamathira had initially filed a petition seeking to have the account unfrozen to allow her access the cash.

    In the application, Njoroge reiterated that she was not engaged in any financial misconduct and she had the capacity to engage in businesses.

    She had accused the agency of maligning her name and basing their argument on speculation that her huge sums were linked to graft and money laundering.

    "I am lawfully entitled to my funds held at my bank account since the agency obtained the sweeping orders freezing the account without asking me where I received the funds from.” 

    "I am a law-abiding person who genuinely acquired the money through businesses and relationship," Njoroge stated.

    Documents in court indicated that the student's boyfriend, Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel, had wired Ksh102,654,024 to Njoroge's account August 4, 2021. The funds raised concern from ARA, which alleged that the funds were acquired through unlawful ways.

    This led to the High Court ordering the account to be frozen to allow the ARA establish the source of the money.

    “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.

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