By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
Nigerian fintech company, Flutterwave, whose more than 6.2 billion shillings spread in 62 Kenyan bank accounts were yesterday frozen by the Kenyan authorities, has denied any wrong doing, saying it has up to date records to prove its dealings met standard practice
A Kenyan high court froze the funds said to belong to Flutterwave and four Kenyans on the suspicion they were proceeds of card fraud and money laundering.
The freezing 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.
ARA said: “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,”.
“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 one Enyioma Olufemi Madubuike, a Nigerian, received Sh467.1 million dollars from Flutterwave on April 27 and April 28 without explanation or supporting documents provided to support the transactions and, therefore, believes the accounts were used as conduits for moving illicit cash.
Meanwhile, Flutterwave has quickly dismissed the allegation, saying the court was wrong in freezing its account.
Reacting to the development in a statement on Thursday, Flutterwave described the allegations as “entirely false”.
Flutterwave said: “Through our financial institution partners, we collect and pay 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.
“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, the statement added.”