Kenya Seizes $56.7M from Flutterwave as Court Freezes 29 Bank Accounts

Flutterwave

The Kenya government has pressed a money laundering charge against Flutterwave with restrictions on at least 29 bank accounts suspected to have been used by Nigeria’s fintech giant to hold up a whopping $56.7 million.

Authorities in Kenya said Flutterwave’s transactions were suspicious resulting in non-compliance with the country’s financial regulations, The Star in Nairobi reported.

Amongst the seven businesses caught in the probe, Flutterwave appeared the largest and it alone had its accounts frozen to the tune of $56.7 million (6.7 billion Kenyan shillings) by the country’s Asset Recovery Agency, The Star said.

GTBank and Ecobank, amongst other financial services in Kenya, were also said to have provided their platforms to Flutterwave in the illicit transaction.

“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,” prosecutors alleged in filings.

Investigations into Flutterwave began several months ago, and authorities obtained warrants to seize the firm’s accounts in April. The provisional seizure permit was granted for 90 days, and the matter will be heard on November 7.

The seizure order appears to coincide with a report published by journalist David Hundeyin, which exposed alleged financial, criminal, and ethical lapses against Flutterwave and Gbenga Agboola, Chief Executive in April 2022.

Agboola denied the allegations as reported by Hundeyin over at Subtack, but said he would make necessary changes to his management of the firm going forward.

In the indictment reported by The Star on Wednesday, Agboola was said to have conducted suspicious transactions to the tune of $101 million dollars (12 billion Kenyan shillings) before authorities caught wind of his activities.

The Kenyan daily also said Agboola and his partners in Nairobi hid under the shadows to exploit the country’s financial system, including conducting about 185 online card payments using the same identification number.

Several other suspicious transactions were also flagged by anti-money laundering detectives, including another instance in which Mr Agboola allegedly connived with another Nigerian national to launder cash through the Kenyan banking system.

“If indeed the Flutterwave was providing merchant services, there was no evidence of retail transactions from customers paying for goods and services. Further, there is no evidence of settlements to the alleged merchants,” Kenyan prosecutors added.

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