After the transactions were flagged by Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency, the money is currently frozen in local banks that include UBA Kenya LTD and Equity Bank.
According to reports by local media, the billions were allegedly laundered by two Kenyans and two Nigerians, who are believed to have been used as fronts by some powerful Kenyan politicians.
The issue is still being investigated; names withheld.
The Assets Recovery Agency was tipped off after the millions were transferred from multiple offshore accounts (including Nigeria) into the accounts of these three Kenyan companies —Remix Capital Ltd, OIT Africa Ltd and Avalon Offshore Logistics Ltd.
“The agency received information on a suspected case of money laundering schemes and acquisition of proceeds of crime involving multiple money transactions conducting through the bank accounts of the Respondents in US dollars and Kenya shillings, mainly from foreign jurisdictions whose source has no legitimate explanation. The pattern of transactions in the accounts in issue and the activities of Respondents depict money laundering activities and this court ought to issue the orders sought,” said a part of the petition by the Assets Recovery Agency.
Meanwhile, Equity Bank and UBA Kenya may face penalties from the Central Bank of Kenya for facilitating the ‘illegal’ transactions.
This is because Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws require banks to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities.