BUSINESS

Court freezes Flutterwave’s Shs12b over money laundering

Staff of Flutterwave at a past event. PHOTO/COURTESY

Staff of Flutterwave at a past event (PHOTO/File)

The High Court of Kenya has ordered the freezing of Sh400.6 million (about Shs12.6b) belonging to Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech over alleged money laundering.

Justice Grace Nzioka in a ruling on Tuesday blocked the company from withdrawing, transferring or dealing with the money, pending further investigations by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA).

The money in question is held at UBA Bank, one account at Access Bank, and 19 M-Pesa Paybill numbers.

This is the second time the company in less than six months that the company’s accounts have been frozen on grounds of fraud and money laundering.

In July, the court allowed the ARA to freeze the company’s money held in different banks. The money includes KSh5.3 billion held at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sh1.4 billion at Equity bank and other millions at Ecobank.

Other accounts belonging to 56 companies were also affected by this earlier order.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), through governor Patrick Njoroge, has also raised a red flag on the company. In July, the Governor said that the company is not licensed to operate as a Payment Service Provider (PSP) in the country.

Flutterwave admitted that it operates in the country through partnerships with licensed providers.

The payments technology firm was founded in 2018 by Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and has offices in Lagos, Nigeria and on 1323 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, US.

In February the company raised Sh28.41 billion in series D fund drive largely for funding mergers and acquisitions in the growing payments market on the continent.

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