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Kenyan court freezes $48.6m suspected to have been laundered by Nigerians



A high court in Kenya has ordered the immediate freezing of bank accounts where the sum of $48.6 million was deposited on the suspicion that the amount was the proceed from laundered money in a fraud scheme perpetrated by some Kenyans and Nigerians allegedly backed by some powerful politicians.

According to Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (KARA), the millions were transferred from multiple offshore accounts, including Nigeria, into the accounts of three Kenyan companies, Remix Capital Ltd, OIT Africa Ltd and Avalon Offshore Logistics Ltd.

The amount, a total of Sh5.6 billion ($48.6 million) is currently frozen in two Kenyan banks including Equity Bank and UBA Kenya Ltd, after being flagged by the KARA.

The Agency noted that suspicions were raised when the directors of the companies who were Nigerian and Kenyan nationals, refused to explain the sources of the millions, leading to discrete investigation into the funds.

The Assets Recovery Agency has, however, petitioned that the is money should be forfeited to the Kenyan government.

“The pattern of transaction in the accounts in issue and the activities of respondents depict money laundering activities and this court ought to issue the orders sought,” the petition by the Assets Recovery Agency said.

A report by a local media privy to the discovery of the money said they were allegedly “laundered by two Kenyans and two Nigerians who are believed to have been used as fronts by some powerful Kenyan politicians.”

“The Assets Recovery Agency was tipped off after the millions were transferred from multiple offshore accounts (including Nigeria) into the accounts of these three Kenyan companies, Remix Capital Ltd, OIT Africa Ltd and Avalon Offshore Logistics Ltd.

“The agency received information on a suspected case of money laundering schemes and acquisition of proceeds of crime involving multiple money transactions conducted through the bank accounts of the respondents in US dollars and Kenya shillings mainly from foreign jurisdiction whose source has no legitimate explanation.

“Consequently, the agency obtained a court order to freeze the accounts in which the millions were deposited. The six accounts will remain frozen until the agency’s petition to have the money forfeited to the Kenyan Government is determined,” the media reported.

As further punishment, the two banks involved, Equity Bank and UBA Kenya, could face penalties from the Central Bank of Kenya for facilitating the ‘illegal’ transactions in line with Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws which require banks to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate authorities.


Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants



Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile



As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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