A Kenyan politician and three Nigerians have been placed at the centre of multi-billion-shilling dealings that Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) and Interpol suspect are part of a money-laundering scheme, with sources of the cash believed to be a criminal enterprise.

Three Nigerians have been enjoying the backing of the powerful politician. KShs. 25.6 billion was wired between October and November 2020, setting off alarm bells in Europe and at the global police agency Interpol over possible money laundering. Bank statements provided revealed a cross-continental operation that moved huge sums of dollars to Kenyan banks and wired them to multiple companies registered locally with shared ownership and suspect addresses. The cash movement over the two months involved over 10 companies owned by the same individuals and registered under near-identical names in Kenya, Dubai, US, Nigeria, Ghana and Hong Kong.

Kenya’s High Court has frozen KShs. 5.6 billion in six bank accounts over alleged money laundering, pending the filing of a petition to have the money forfeited to the government. Kenya court documents state that transactions were conducted through suspicious transfers and withdrawals meant to hide the source.

This suggests that Kenyan authorities are pursuing just a small share of the billions that started flowing into the local bank accounts in 2020. The fight against Money laundering in Kenya is still wanting and the agencies tasked to curb economic crime facing a hard task to eradicate the vice. However, monetary policies should be put in place in order to restraint illicit financial flow into the economy.

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