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Court freezes Sh115 million sent to Kenyan woman from overseas

Wanjohi received the money which was sent in dollars to a local bank

Milimani Law Courts

A High Court judge has ordered the freezing of Sh115 million wired to a Kenyan woman by a Mauritius based company.

Justice Esther Maina ordered the freezing of the funds linked to Isabel Nyaguthii Wanjohi and ordered the funds to be held by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) till the case is heard and determined.

Wanjohi who works for a micro finance credit lender is said to have received the cash as a loan from the Mauritus based company, however, discrepancies emerged as the said loan was unsecured and did not have signatures and witnesses.

“That the preservation orders prohibiting the respondent and or his agents or representatives from transacting, withdrawing, transferring, using and in any way dealing in respect of the USD 1 million held at Standard Chartered Bank,” the judge said.

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The asset recovery agency was further compelled to dig into the money after Wanjohi intended to transfer it to South Africa.

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

The agency told the court Wanjohi could be colluding with criminals to launder the monies which are in turn wired into other accounts in South Africa.

“We suspect that Wanjohi who works at Platinum Credit Limited is being used by fraudsters as a conduit for money laundering in which they use her account to deposit cash in dollars and hurriedly transfer the money to other accounts in South Africa,“ the agency told the court.

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The case will be heard on September 12.

Wanjohi's case piles on more similar ones which have seen millions frozen after they were linked to criminal activities.

In March 2022, ARA froze the account of Felesta Nyamathira Njoroge who received Sh109 million from Belgian billionaire Marc de Mesel.

ARA’s lawyer Stephen Githinji informed the court that after conducting investigations, they discovered that the 21-year-old Nairobi Technical Training Institute student was involved in an elaborate international money-laundering scheme.

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According to the agency's investigator, Fredrick Musyoki, the student opened the dollar account at Co-operative Bank on August 2, 2021, with no balance, but within four days, the account was credited with $914,967 (Sh104,205,591) in four transactions.

Our investigations established that she opened the accounts for the sole purpose of receiving the said funds which she declared the source to be from her boyfriend for her to invest in land projects and travelling,” Musyoki disclosed.

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