BREAKING: Millions trapped as Kenyan high court freezes bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave, and others over alleged money laundering

A bank clerk cheking old-issue currency bills received from a client to exchange for new-issue tender at a branch of a local bank in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, September 30, 2019. - Kenya demonetized it's old-series tender at midnight tonight in favour of new currency notes, a move intended to curb laundering of money acquired through corruption, especially in government accounting, that is rampant in the East African nation.  (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)
  • The high court order came at the request of the ARA that Flutterwave wired deposits in the bank account in the guise of payments for goods and services.
  • The ARA reckoned Flutterwave provided no explanation or supporting documents to support the transactions.

A high court in Kenya has granted an exparte motion which sought temporary freezing of bank accounts belonging to Nigerian fintech Flutterwave and four Kenyans on the request of the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), the agency said.

According to reports, the deposit of Sh7 Billion ($59 million) from 56 accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity, EcoBank, KCB and Co-operative Bank was maintained by Flutterwave Payment Technology Limited, Boxtrip Travel and Tours Limited, Bagtrip Travel Limited, Elivalat Fintech Limited, Adguru Technology Limited, Hupesi Solutions, Cruz Ride Auto Limited and one Simon Ngige.

The ARA said in court filings that their investigations revealed Flutterwave wired the cash in the guise of payments for goods and services. Further investigations by the agency revealed that:

  • Flutterwave accounts had Sh5.17 billion in 29 accounts at GTB, Equity and Eco Bank in Kenya shillings, US dollars, Euros, and Sterling pounds.
  • Boxtrip Travels and Tours had Sh467.1 million deposited in multiple bank accounts, and Bagtrip Travels Ltd accounts had Sh436 million also deposited in multiple bank accounts.
  • The other accounts include Elivalat Fintech Ltd (Sh1.16 million), Hupesi Solutions (Sh1.6 million), and Cruz Ride Auto Ltd (Sh2.4 million).
  • An account under Simon Karanja Ngige, listed as a director of Cruz Ride Auto Ltd, has Sh14 million.

“The transactions were done using cards issued by the same bank, at the same point, on the same day, raising suspicion of card fraud,” said ARA.

“Further investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds are proceeds of crime obtained from illegitimate sources by the respondent which require to be preserved pending the filing and hearing of an intended forfeiture application,” the agency submitted.

The ARA reckoned that Boxtrip Travel and Tours, registered by Enyioma Olufemi Madubuike, a Nigerian, received Sh467.1 million in dollars from Flutterwave Payments technology ltd in two days on April 27 and 28 this year.

ARA said there was no explanation or supporting documents provided to support the transactions and, therefore, believes the accounts were used as conduits for moving illicit cash.

The agency also pointed out that the Flutterwave equity USD Bank account opened in November 2020 received cash mainly from Flutterwave Inc. However, between 2020 and 2022, the account received approximately Sh12 billion, and the funds were either transferred to Remix Ltd while the rest were invested in a fixed deposit account.

Rem X Ltd is at the centre of a separate money-laundering suit, which saw the court freeze Sh5.6 billion in accounts in April.

This is a developing story…


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