Kenya court freezes another $3.3m Flutterwave fund


Africa’s biggest fintech startup Flutterwave has been hit with another setback by a Kenyan High Court.

The court ordered the freezing of the company’s accounts over allegations of money laundering.

Kenya’s authorities said the Nigerian firm had no approval to conduct cross-border payments in the country, and accused it of fraud.

The court earlier ordered that its 29 bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank, 17 with Equity Bank and six with Ecobank be frozen.

The startup at the time dismissed the claim of financial impropriety against it as “entirely false”, saying it had records to verify this.

In a new development, the court has ordered that another Ksh 400.6 million ($3.3 million) belonging to the startup be seized, Kenyan Wallstreet reported.

“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 said.

Since April, Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency received orders to search and inspect transactions made by seven entities suspected to have been used as conduits for money laundering in the guise of providing merchant services.

The aggregate amount of funds alleged by the ARA to have been laundered or labeled as suspicious via Flutterwave or associated companies is over $200 million, which led to the subsequent freeze of numerous accounts linked to these entities.

The country’s central bank governor, Patrick Njoroge, later said Flutterwave and Chipper Cash are not licensed to deliver cross-border payment services in Kenya.