A Kenyan High Court has issued a freeze order on 56 bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave, Nigeria’s payment gateway company, and six other companies.
But Flutterwave has described the allegations as false and can prove this with records.
“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 four firms,” Flutterwave said in a statement. “We remain proactive in our engagements with regulatory bodies to continue to stay compliant.”
The bank accounts reportedly hold approximately $59.7 million (Sh7 billion) allegedly laundered by foreign nationals. Flutterwave controls 29 of the affected bank accounts.
The Kenyan Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had approached the court alleging that the accounts of the seven companies were used as conduits for money laundering in the guise of providing merchant services.
The other affected companies are Boxtrip travel and tours limited, Bagtrip travel limited, Elivalat fintech limited, Adguru technology limited, Hupesi solutions, Cruz ride auto limited, and one Simon Ngige.
“If indeed the Flutterwave was providing merchant services, there was no evidence of retail transactions from customers paying for goods and services. Further, there is no evidence of settlements to the alleged merchants,” said Isaac Nakitare, an investigator with the agency.
Nakitare says by the time he obtained the orders, the accounts at Guaranty Trust bank belonging to Flutterwave had a balance of $44.8 million, $11.8 million at Equity bank, and other millions at Ecobank.
Flutterwave explained that through its financial institution partners, it collects and pays on behalf of merchants and corporate entities.
“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,” Flutterwave said.
It added that because it facilitates payments for the biggest organisations in the world and everyday businesses, it processes significantly large volumes of money and contributes to growing the economy in Kenya, and the rest of Africa.
More details later…