Financial Technology

Nigeria: Concerns As Kenya’s Court Freezes Flutterwave Accounts Again

Information and Technology experts and other Nigerians have expressed concerns over the$3.3million frozen from a Nigerian financial technology company, Flutterwave’s accounts by a Kenyan court.

The Kenyan court on Tuesday ruled that Ksh400.6 million ($3.3 million) in Flutterwave’s accounts should be frozen due to allegations of money laundering and card fraud.

On August 25, the court granted the Kenyan Asset Recovery Agency’s (ARA) request to prevent Flutterwave from transferring or withdrawing funds from three bank accounts — two in United Bank for Africa (UBA) and one in Access Bank — and 19 Safaricom M-Pesa paybill numbers. The court froze funds inUBA totaling Ksh110 million ($916,284) and Ksh66.7 million ($556,622), AccessBank totalling Ksh29.1 million ($242,399), and Safaricom M-Pesa totalling Ksh68million ($566,430), Ksh112 million (932,944), and Ksh14.5 million ($120,783).

This isn’t the first time this year. On similar grounds, the ARA was granted a court order in July 2022freezing Sh6.2 billion ($52.5 million) spread across 62 bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave and seven other companies. According to the ARA filings, debits totalling Sh136 million ($1.13 million) in one of Flutterwave’s UBA bank accounts included chargebacks, reversals, and refunds, indicating that they were used for card fraud.

The agency also stated that the conversion of dollars into shillings in that account in a Ksh231million transaction indicated a “layering and intermingling scheme”. However, some Nigerian tech experts and other citizens have expressed concerns over the fate of Flutterwave.

A Lagos-based tech expert, Muritala Olalekan told Daily Trust that the “constant harassment” on Flutterwave by Kenya authorities might impact negatively on the Fintech Company.

“Flutterwave should brace up and correct whatever is not right in its operations. This constant harassment on the firm by the Kenya authorities should worry every Nigerian,” Olalekan said. A current affairs analyst, Musa Olafisayo, told Daily Trust that Nigerian regulatory authorities should intensify the checks on many of the Nigerian Fintechs.”

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