A Kenyan high court has frozen more than Sh6.2 billion spread in 62 bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech company, and four Kenyans.
Olugbenga Agboola is the chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Flutterwave.
According to Business Daily Africa, the court issued the freezing order following suspicion that the funds are proceeds of card fraud and money laundering.
The order was issued on bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave Payment Technology Limited, Boxtrip Travel and Tours Limited, Bagtrip Travels Limited, Elivalat Fintech Limited, Adguru Technology, Hupesi Solutions, Cruz Ride Auto Limited and one Simon Karanja Ngige.
The order was granted after the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) applied to block the transfer or withdrawal of the money, pending the filing of a petition to have it forfeited to the government.
The agency, in court filings, said that their investigations revealed the cash was wired in the guise of payments for goods and services.
“That the 1st Respondent’s (Flutterwave) bank accounts received billions in a suspected scheme of money laundering and the same deposited in different bank accounts in an attempt to conceal or disguise the nature, source, location, disposition or movement of the said funds,” ARA said.
“The transactions were done using cards issued by the same bank, at the same point, on the same day, raising suspicion of card fraud.”
ARA said Boxtrip Travel and Tours, registered by Enyioma Olufemi Madubuike, a Nigerian, received Sh467.1 million dollars from Flutterwave on April 27 and April 28.
It said there was no explanation or supporting documents provided to support the transactions and, therefore, believes the accounts were used as conduits for moving illicit cash.
“Further investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds are proceeds of crime obtained from illegitimate sources by the respondent which require to be preserved pending the filing and hearing of an intended forfeiture application,” the agency added.
Reacting to the development in a statement on Thursday, Flutterwave described the allegations as “entirely false”.
It added that it has the necessary records to prove its innocence.
“Through our financial institution partners, we collect and pay on behalf of merchants and corporate entities,” the statement reads.
“In the process, we earn our fees through a transaction charge, records of which are available and can be verified. As a business, we hold corporate funds to support our operations and provide services to all our customers.
“By facilitating payments for the biggest organizations in the world and everyday businesses, we process significantly large volumes of money and contribute to growing the economy in Kenya, and the rest of Africa.
“We are a financial technology company that maintains the highest regulatory standards in our operations.
“Our Anti-money laundering (AML) practices and operations are regularly audited by one of the big 4 firms. We remain proactive in our engagements with regulatory bodies to continue to stay compliant.
“Flutterwave has a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the ecosystem, and we pledge our commitment to continue to work with all stakeholders to uphold this.
“We are working to figure out the motive behind the publication and have the records straightened.”