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[Kenya] Government drops fraud charges against Nigerian fintech Flutterwave

Story Highlights
  • This comes about seven months after the High Court froze the company’s money held in different bank accounts over allegations of money laundering
  • The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had obtained orders to freeze the accounts, saying it was investigating the movement of billions of shillings transacted through Flutterwave.
  • Flutterwave had also been accused of operating in the country without a valid license by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)

The Kenyan government has dropped charges of financial impropriety against Flutterwave Inc. This is according to a new report by Bloomberg.

This comes about seven months after the High Court froze the company’s money held in different bank accounts over allegations of money laundering. The money included KSh5.3 billion held at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Sh1.4 billion at Equity bank, and other millions at Ecobank. In August, a further Sh400.6 million belonging to the company held at UBA Bank, one account at Access Bank and 19 M-Pesa Paybill numbers were also frozen. 

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had obtained orders to freeze the accounts, saying it was investigating the movement of billions of shillings transacted through Flutterwave.

Flutterwave had also been accused of operating in the country without a valid license by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge.  The fintech in an email to TechTrends Media, however, said that it applied for a license to operate as a payment service provider in 2019 but it’s yet to receive it from CBK

The withdrawal of the charges is a big relief for Flutterwave which is preparing for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange. 

The Nigerian startup is among the leading fintechs in Africa. The company was founded in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga Agboola, and Adeleke Adekoya and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It has operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa. It was last valued at more than $3 billion and had raised more than $450 Million in VC Funding.

It’s not clear if the withdrawal of the case also means Flutterwave will now continue operating in the country.

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Source
Bloomberg
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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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