Fresh details have emerged on the university student who reportedly received a Ksh102 million gift from her Belgian boyfriend in 2021.
According to evidence presented before the High Court in Nairobi by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) on Thursday 3, the university student was allegedly involved in a complex international money laundering scheme.
ARA’s lead investigator, Fredrick Musyoka, in his submission told the court that the student opened a dollar account on August 2, 2021, with a nil balance. Four days later, her account had over Ksh104,205,591 (USD914,967). The money was credited into her account in four different transactions.
Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe (Undated)
Courtesy Merc De Mesel Twitter
The investigator argued that the university student indicated that the money was a gift from her Belgian boyfriend.
“Our investigations established that she opened the accounts for the sole purpose of receiving the said funds which she declared the source to be from her boyfriend for her to invest in land projects and travelling,” Musyoki told the court.
Another lawyer representing ARA told the court that the student was used by various international fraudsters to launder their money.
“We have discovered that she is part of a syndicate involved in complex money laundering schemes with individuals from various countries including Belgium from where she received the money on the pretext that it was a gift from her boyfriend,” ARA’s lawyer stated.
“There are reasonable grounds and evidence demonstrating that the funds are direct and indirect benefits of proceeds of crime obtained from an international money laundering scheme and are liable for forfeiture to the government.”
The agency is now seeking the court’s intervention in its quest to confiscate the money it terms as proceeds of crime.
Court documents showed that the student was first summoned by detectives on October 2, 2021 for questioning but escaped to Tanzania through the Namanga border.
Her Belgian boyfriend also allegedly escaped to Tanzania during the same period to avoid being apprehended and questioned.
To justify the money laundering claims, the investigators further told the court that the Belgian tycoon wired a total of Ksh650 million to five different individuals between February 2020 and August 2021 without disclosing the source of the funds or what they would be used to do.
When the account was flagged, ARA issued a summon to the student on October 18, 2021, but her lawyers wrote back a day later stating that the summon was vague and had no legal grounds.
“In the letter, the legal representative making reference to the summons dated 18 October 2021 sought for better and proper particulars of the alleged offence with regards to what information you wish to acquire from our client,” ARA stated in court documents.
The case will now proceed to full hearing before a verdict on the millions in the 21-year old’s account is made.
File image of Kenyan bank notes