Court orders ARA to release Sh120m seized from Bahraini at JKIA


Thursday December 15 2022


The High Court has ordered the release of $ 977,075 (about Sh110 million) seized from a Bahraini national early this, saying there is no evidence that the money is linked to graft or money laundering.

Justice Esther Maina ordered the release of the millions this morning saying Mr Khalid Jameel Saeed was able to prove that the money was not tainted. 

The money was seized from Mr Saeed on January 28, at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), after he failed to declare the cash to the customs officials. 

Justice Maina said Mr Saeed discharged the burden of proving the source of the funds when he was asked to do so by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA). 

“The court hereby finds that the applicant (ARA) did not prove its case on a balance of probabilities,” the judge said as she ordered the agency to release the money to Mr Saeed. 

The court heard that the foreigner arrived in Kenya on January 13 but failed to declare cash upon entry into Nairobi.

The Bahraini was to depart the county on EgyptAir flight number MS0841 at 7.30 am on January 28, when customs officials noticed that he was carrying bulky cash.

The agency said when asked why he was carrying bulky cash, the foreigner allegedly failed to give a reasonable explanation or a document to show why he had the cash. 

Section 12(1) read together with the 2nd Schedule of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act requires a person carrying more than $10,000 in or out of Kenya, to declare the money to the customs officials.

“The failure of the Respondent to declare being in possession of funds in excess of $10,000 in cash and not having a reasonable explanation nor supporting documents to support the legitimacy of the cash raises reasonable suspicion of a money laundering scheme executed in an effort to conceal, the nature, source, location, disposition, or movement of the funds,” ARA stated in court documents.

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Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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