TIGHTEN CHECKS ON BANKS TO CURB CORRUPTION RELATED CRIMES-IMF TELLS KENYA

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Kenya to tighten checks on bank transactions over concerns they are being used as conduits for money laundering by corruption networks.

Following an indicting report from an appraisal conducted by IMF, Kenya has been called upon to intensify the checks using financial intelligence tools to counter corruption-related money laundering risk in banks and other higher-risk sectors such as counter financing of terrorism.

Apart from IMF, the US State Department has also warned of that laxity among Kenyan officials in the global fight against money laundering, lack of close regulation of mobile lending platforms, combined with proximity to Somalia has made Kenya an “attractive destination for funds from unregulated Somali sectors.”

Anti-graft agencies are however rising to the occasion as evidenced by recent reported cases in which billions of shillings have been seized from both financial institutions as well as individuals who could not explain the source of their wealth.

Recently, the State seized about Kshs.15 billion from individuals and companies in Nigeria, suspected to be from card fraud or remittance done by payment service providers. The largest cash heist consisted of Kshs.6.2 billion in 62 bank accounts cash seized from a Nigerian fintech start-up Flutterwave, in what Kenyan authorities believe is part of card fraud and money laundering schemes.

Last year, the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) seized about Kshs.108 million from a Kenyan woman on suspicion that the money was part of a money laundering scheme.

In court filings, the agency said that a total of three women, received a sum of Kshs.260 million from a Belgian national between August and November last year through two accounts at a local bank. The Belgian, a cryptocurrency dealer, said that the money was a gift.

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