The High court has frozen bank accounts belonging to companies suspected to be involved in money laundering schemes by foreign nationals. A total of Sh7 billion was frozen from 56 accounts belonging to seven companies.
Among the companies are Nigeria Fintech company, Flutterwave which provides merchant services, Boxtrip travel and tours limited, Bagtrip travel limited, Elivalat fintech limited, Adguru technology limited, Hupesi solutions, Cruz ride auto limited and an individual going by the name Simon Ngige.
According to the Asset Recovery Agency, the seven entities used the 56 bank accounts to launder money under the guise of providing merchant services. The frozen accounts are in USD, British Pound Sterling, EURO and Kenya shillings.
Flutter is a Nigerian Fintech company registered in 2017. Its directors include Olugbenga Agboola, David Mouko (Kenyan) and Flutterwave Inc. The company was accused of carrying out questionable activities and not being in compliance with the Kenyan financial laws.
The company operated 29 bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank, 17 with Equity Bank and 6 with Ecobank. Flutterwave is the biggest company among those under investigation, with the largest share of frozen assets at Sh6.7 billion.
“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.
According to the court, Mr. Agboola had conducted dubious transactions worth about Sh12 billion before the authorities learned of its activities. Investigations commenced in April before a warrant to seize the firm’s accounts was issued.
“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.
According to ARA, Mr. Agboola and his associates in Nairobi operated covertly to take advantage of the nation’s banking system, making roughly 185 online card purchases using the same identifying number.
Anti-money laundering detectives also noticed a number of further suspicious transactions, including one such case in which the Fintech founder is believed to have colluded with another Nigerian citizen to launder money through the Kenyan banking system.
According to The Star, a 90-day provisional seizure authorization was issued pending the hearing on November 7.
Mr. Agboola commented on the issue, saying Nigerian companies were being targeted.
“Why are Nigerian companies in Kenya being targeted by Kenya ARA?” Mr Agboola said. “This is happening near their election time.”
Flutterwave has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons this year, after Mr. Agboola was accused by employees of bullying, intimidation and harrasment. A Substack newsletter published on the West Africa Weekly by Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin on April 12 detailed cases of insider trading, sexual assault and intimidation of employees in the hands of the Flutterwave CEO. Among the accusers are a Kenyan lady and former Flutterwave employee, Clara Wanjiku Odera who said Mr. Agboola had been harassing her for five years.
Odera said her woes with his former employer had at one time landed her in the hands of the DCI after Flutterwave failed to remove her as a contact person for businesses linked to fraud.