The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) got a reprieve over a suspected money laundering scam, after anti-corruption High Court Judge Esther Maina ordered the freezing of Kshs.71.2 million ($631,071) held at a local bank in the name of Tebby Wambui Kago.
The anti-corruption Court also issued an order freezing a further Kshs.5 million held at to Ms Felesta Nyamathira Njoroge’s.
The ARA moved to Court after the red flag was raised over millions of shillings wired into a student’s bank account in August, allegedly by her boyfriend, Belgian billionaire Marc De Mesel. The Belgian is said to be a crypto currency dealer.
As at the time of the court’s order, a staggering Kshs.102 million ($914,967) that had been wired into the student’s account had already been frozen as it was believed to proceeds of crime. This brings to the total to Kshs. 210million frozen by the court.
The news of how the state flagged out the teenage student for receiving more than a hundred millions of shillings into her accounts has enthralled the nation.
The money was received in eight batches over a period of two weeks, sent to Ms Njoroge and her associate Ms Kago from the Belgian who said that it was for her to secure the future of their children. Njoroge has a child with her boyfriend.
The ARA however told the Court that it that the suspect funds’ pattern of transaction depicts money laundering activities, saying that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the funds held in the above accounts are proceeds of crime acquired through illicit and money laundering scheme designed to conceal, disguise the nature, source location and movement of the funds.
Despite attempt to by the young lady to lift the court orders, the court agreed with ARA which had filed for freezing of the accounts until a determination was made for a forfeiture application.
The anti-graft agencies have so far recovered billions of shillings through preservation orders. Most of these cases involve funds suspected to be either proceeds of corruption or economic crimes.