Kenya within the week seized $56.7 million from Flutterwave on the ground of corruption and money laundering in a public trial in the capital Nairobi
According to REPORTS, the Nigerian Company was accused of conducting suspicious transactions and failing to comply with financial regulations in Kenya.
As a result, Flutterwave accounts are frozen to the tune of $56.7 million and the local media said “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.”
For example Kenya authorities said investigations into Flutterwave began several months ago, and it has 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 its chief executive Gbenga Agboola in April 2022.
Mr Agboola denied the allegations as reported by Mr 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, Mr 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 Mr 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.
GTBank and Ecobank, amongst other financial services in Kenya, were also said to have provided their platforms to Flutterwave.
In a text message to Peoples Gazette, Mr Agboola suggested the charges were politically motivated.
“Why are Nigerian companies in Kenya being targeted by Kenya ARA?” Mr Agboola said. “This is happening near their election time.”
He also said Flutterwave was not the first Nigerian firm to be targeted in Kenya.