Fifty Two bank accounts belonging to Kenyan and Nigerian businessmen have been frozen in an intensified crackdown against money laundering in the country.
The cash stashed in the accounts amounted to Ksh8 billion and was discovered by the Assets Recovery Authority which conducted an investigation to ascertain the source of the funds.
Making her ruling on Wednesday, July 7, Justice Esther Maina of the High Court allowed ARA to hold the cash stashed in accounts in four commercial banks.Over Ksh 37 billion fake currency seized on May 4, 2021.
Investigations indicate the money was wired to the banks from one of Nigeria's major money transfer platforms.
The platform has 29 different bank accounts where the Ksh8 billion was stashed.
“Investigations established that the bank accounts operations had suspicious activities where funds could be received from specific foreign entities which raised suspicion. The funds were then transferred to related accounts as opposed to settlement to merchants,” ARA told the court.
Kenya has been on the spot over the growing number of money laundering activities in the recent past.
On December 14, 2021, High Court froze over Ksh113 million held in the bank account of two Kenyan women who received money from a foreigner as a gift.
Justice Maina of High Court’s Anti-Corruption Division allowed a request by the ARA to preserve the funds belonging to the two women.
A report tabled before the US Congress on March 9, 2021, exposed Kenya’s vulnerability to money laundering, financial fraud and terrorism financing.
The vices are perpetuated through the growing use of mobile money transfer platforms, the hawala system of banking and Trade-Based Money Laundering.
During his speech on Mashujaa Day in Kirinyaga county, President Uhuru Kenyatta instituted fresh measures to curb money laundering activities in the country.
He directed the National Treasury and related stakeholders to raise the threshold for the reporting of cash transactions above Ksh1 million with the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) effective November 1, 2021, even as financial institutions will retain their reporting obligations with the FRC.
He noted that the current reporting application has inhibited the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are largely reliant on cash-only transactions.Kenyan currency notes.File
Kenya is also seeking an amendment to the law that will see changes to how much a foreigner can invest in the country.
The current investment threshold by law requires a foreigner to have at least Ksh10 million to obtain an investment certificate.terrorism arrest
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