Kenya’s ARA drops fraud and laundering allegations against Nigerian fintech Korapay
Business Startups

Kenya’s ARA drops fraud and laundering allegations against Nigerian fintech Korapay

Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has dropped the allegations of laundering and fraud leveled against Korapay, a Nigerian payment company (TechCabal).

In July, the ARA, which is charged with identifying and confiscating proceeds of crime committed in the East African country, had brought two separate suits against Korapay and Kandon Technologies Limited, another Nigerian fintech company, for allegedly laundering Sh6 billion (~$51 million) into Kenya.

Following the judgment passed by a Kenyan High Court on July 14th, $249,990 (Sh29.5 million) belonging to Kora’s Equity Bank account, and $126,841 (Sh15 million) in Kandon Technologies Ltd’s two UBA’s accounts were subsequently frozen.

The ARA also linked both companies with five other Nigerian companies, including fintech unicorn Flutterwave Ltd, and a Kenyan businessman Simon Karanja. A total of 62 bank accounts containing over Sh6 billion and belonging to the accused were subsequently frozen over the same allegations.

Flutterwave denied the allegations at the end, and attributed it to a political move to target Nigerian firms in Kenya, as the general election nears.

Per the ruling, Kora and Kandon were barred from operating the frozen accounts until the conclusion of the ARA investigations.

New information from documents seen by TechCabal claims that the case has been settled.

One document filed on the 19th of October 2022 by state counsel Stephen Githinji on behalf of the ARA director claims the suit has been withdrawn in its entirety.

Another issued by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on September 11, and addressed to Wetangula, Adan & Company Advocates, Kora’s Kenyan solicitor, stated there is currently no evidence to prove the Korapay was guilty of money laundering or card fraud.

Gideon Orovwiroro, Kora’s Chief Operations Officer, said in a statement the company has always maintained its innocence, and insisted the allegations had made zero impact on its business. Orovwiroro further acknowledged the potential the Kenyan market afforded their mission to enable African businesses accept global payments, and for these global businesses to also easily accept payments in Africa.

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