The High Court has frozen more than Sh10 million belonging to a company suspected to have defrauded members of the public.
Anti-Corruption High Court division Judge Esther Maina has stopped Kivaa Ventures ltd from withdrawing or transferring Sh10,004,908 held at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) suspected to be proceeds of crime
The Judge further prohibited the company employees, agents or any other persons acting on behalf of the company from transacting or dealing with the funds for a period of 90 days.
This after Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) filed an application seeks to preserve the said funds over suspicion that they are proceeds of crime.
“The Court do issue Preservation Orders prohibiting the Respondent and/or its representatives, employees, agents, servants or any other persons acting on its behalf from transacting, withdrawing, transferring or dealing in any manner howsoever in respect of the following funds held in the following account,” urged ARA.
The Agency it received information on May 27, 2022, that the company defrauded members of the public, was involved in racketeering, obtaining money by false pretense and money laundering.
The agency said preliminary investigations established that Kivaa Ventures ltd, its directors and agents were involved in a suspected scheme of money laundering by deceit.
The company allegedly received funds in issue from members of the general public and later transferred the funds to bank accounts belonging to companies, business entities owned, associated with the owners.
The funds were ultimately using the illegitimately acquired funds to purchase several properties which is being tracked by the Agency.
“There is imminent danger the Respondent shall dispose, transfer and dissipate the said funds as there are no Court Orders currently preserving the assets in issue,” said the agency.
According to court documents, preliminary investigations established that the Respondent, its directors and agents were involved in suspected a scheme of money laundering involving the respondent, which received funds from members of the general public and later transferred the funds to above bank account belonging to Kivaa Ventures ltd.
The court documents state than on diverse dates Kivaa’s account Kenya Commercial Bank account held in its name , received suspicious funds amounting to total of Kenya Sh. 30,018,105 between the period of 2020 and 2021 which are reasonably believed to be funds obtained by false pretense from members of the general public.
The agency adds that within the said period there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, transfers in suspicious complex money laundering schemes.
Court heard that the part of the suspect funds received from the members of the general public were later used to acquire properties in the names of the respondent other entities which the Agency is tracing.
The agency investigating officer John Kingori in his affidavit said that investigations established that the directors and agents of the Respondent (Kivaa ventures ltd) subsequently laundered the funds defrauded from the general members or the profits and the benefits through the Kivaa Ventures ltd.
“By channeling profits, benefits illegally acquired to various conduit entities with an intent of concealing, disguising and hiding the source of the illegitimacy acquired funds and its subsequent utilization to acquire assets contrary to the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009,” said officer Kingori.
Officer Kingori said the investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds in issue are proceeds of crime obtained through defrauding of the members of the public and money laundering by the Respondent.
“As stated above the investigations in this matter has established that the funds are suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to the provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2009 which requires them to be preserved pending filing and hearing of intended forfeiture application,” said Investigating officer.
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