A Kenyan court has reportedly frozen bank accounts belonging to Nigerian fintech company Flutterwave over allegations relating to card fraud and money laundering.
According to the report made by newspaper outlet the Kenyan Wallstreet, funds in the frozen accounts are said to be up to Ksh400.6 million ($3.3 million).
“A Kenyan High Court has frozen another Ksh 400.6 million in three bank accounts and 19 Safaricom M-Pesa paybill numbers belonging to Flutterwave linked to card fraud and money laundering,” the paper reported.
On August 25, the court granted the Asset Recovery Agency’s (ARA) application to prevent Flutterwave from transferring or withdrawing funds in these bank accounts, which include accounts in UBA and Access Bank.
Recall that in July, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) claimed that Flutterwave had no approval to carry out cross-border operations relating to payment and remittance in the country, tagging their activities as fraudulent and ordering that a total of 52 accounts belonging to the company be frozen. Flutterwave, however, came out to dismiss these claims saying it was “entirely false.”
In the same month, two other Nigerian fintech companies in Korapay and Kandon were victims of the authorities’ prosecution as they had accounts holding a total of Ksh45 million ($381,000) worth of funds frozen by a Kenyan court. This move was made as a result of an application by the ARA for allegedly siphoning Ksh6 billion ($51 million) into the country. Interestingly, these companies came under fire as ARA claimed that they are linked to Flutterwave and are allegedly involved in an international ring of fraudsters who move illicit money through Kenyan banks.
With this development, Flutterwave continues in what seems like its roughest year yet, being the subject of controversy in the last few months, notably the fraud and impersonation allegations labelled on its CEO. The company, now Africa’s biggest unicorn, has operated in Kenya since 2016 and is valued at $3 billion since its $250 million Series D funding round in February.