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Not Guilty: Kenyan court dismisses case against Nigerian man arrested with US$1 million cash at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

July 22nd 2022, 3:02:32 pm
Not Guilty: Kenyan court dismisses case against Nigerian man arrested with US$1 million cash at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
  • The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) failed to prove that the money recovered from the defendant was proceeds of crime.
  • A High Court in Milimani Nairobi dismissed the claims by the ARA, saying that the Nigerian national had proved beyond reasonable doubt the legitimacy of the cash.
  • Mr Mauzu Bala was intercepted at the JKIA on his way from Lagos, Nigeria, to Dubai carrying – $880,000, €60,000 and ₦63,000- stacked in his suitcase.

A Nigerian national man arrested with US$1 million (Sh100 million) stashed in a bag at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while heading to Dubai in December 2020 has been discharged and acquitted.

Mr Mauzu Bala was acquitted of the charges filed by Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) after Justice Esther Maina dismissed the claims saying that the Nigerian national had proved beyond reasonable doubt the legitimacy of the cash.

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“ARA has not proved there was any unlawful conduct in possession of the money by Mr Bala. I, therefore, dismiss the application and order the frozen funds to be released back to Mr Bala," Justice Maina said.

The judge said Mr Bala clearly made a declaration and proved to the court that the millions of shillings were his, Business Daily reported.

Mr Bala, who was in transit to Dubai from Lagos, Nigeria, was intercepted at the JKIA carrying – $880,000, €60,000 and ₦63,000- stacked in his suitcase.

The ARA claimed that Mr Bala could not satisfactorily explain the source and that he did not provide proof of being in possession of cash from his point of origin to support the source.

Upon the confiscation, ARA filed a forfeiture suit in court seeking to have the money forfeited to the State as it claimed the foreigner was part of a money laundering. It added that he failed to explain the purpose or movement of the cash and why he could not use the financial systems and institutions, as reported by Business Daily.

Victor Oluwole
Head and Editor at Business Insider Africa

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