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The High Court has frozen the accounts of two Nigerian companies suspected to have siphoned more than Sh6 billion into the country.

Lady Justice Esther Maina issued the orders in two separate suits filed by the Asset Recovery Agency against Korapay Technologies Limited and Kandon Technologies Limited over claims that they are being used by fraudsters as conduits of international money laundering.

In the first case against Korapay Technologies Ltd, Justice Maina froze $249,990 (Sh29.5 million) in their account at Equity Bank, while Kandon Technologies Ltd had its Sh15 million in two accounts at UBA bank frozen.

“The court issues preservation orders prohibiting the respondents or their agents from withdrawing or transferring the money in the stated accounts for six months to allow Asset Recovery Agency complete investigations in the allegations of money laundering,” ruled Justice Maina.

ARA, in its suit against the two companies, argued that they are part of an international ring of fraudsters who have been using Kenyan banks as conduits of illicit money whose source cannot be established.

In the case against Kandon Technologies Ltd, ARA claimed that they siphoned Sh5.5 billion which was transacted through their bank account at UBA in a period of seven months between October 2021 and April this year.

“Our investigations revealed that their account had transacted Sh5.5 billion in seven months and by the time we got intelligence information that they were engaged in money laundering, they had transferred the funds to other jurisdictions with only Sh15 million remaining,” said ARA.

The company is listed as owned by Nigerian nationals Uzoamaka Pauline Okoro with 200 shares and Ayowole Oluwasen Ayodele with 800 shares.

ARA claimed that the company received huge cash amounts from foreign jurisdictions which were then hurriedly transferred to other bank accounts in a move to disguise and conceal the source and destination of the suspected illicit funds.

According to ARA, they have established that the Nigerian firms are shell companies incorporated in Kenya for purposes of taking advantage of the liberal financial system to launder funds whose sources are not legitimate.

For Korapay Technologies Ltd, the State agency said they established it is owned by Gideon Oghenetega Orowiroro and Dickson Chukwuma Nsofor who had been receiving millions of shillings in their accounts before the money is transferred to other individuals.

“We established that they received the Sh29.5 million in a single transaction which raised suspicion as to the source of the funds,” said the agency.

According to ARA, the two companies are linked to five other Nigerian firms and a Kenyan businessman whose 62 bank accounts with over Sh6 billion were frozen last week over allegations that they are engaged in card fraud and international money laundering.

ARA, in its application, claimed that Flutterwave Ltd, Elivalat Fintech Ltd, Hupesi Solutions, Boxtrip Travels and Tours, Bagtrip Travels Ltd, Cruz Ride Auto Ltd, and businessman Simon Karanja were the entities behind the alleged money laundering scheme involving Sh6.2 billion.

The High Court has frozen the accounts of two Nigerian companies suspected to have siphoned more than Sh6 billion into the country.

Lady Justice Esther Maina issued the orders in two separate suits filed by the Asset Recovery Agency against Korapay Technologies Limited and Kandon Technologies Limited over claims that they are being used by fraudsters as conduits of international money laundering.

In the first case against Korapay Technologies Ltd, Justice Maina froze $249,990 (Sh29.5 million) in their account at Equity Bank, while Kandon Technologies Ltd had its Sh15 million in two accounts at UBA bank frozen.

“The court issues preservation orders prohibiting the respondents or their agents from withdrawing or transferring the money in the stated accounts for six months to allow Asset Recovery Agency complete investigations in the allegations of money laundering,” ruled Justice Maina.

ARA, in its suit against the two companies, argued that they are part of an international ring of fraudsters who have been using Kenyan banks as conduits of illicit money whose source cannot be established.

In the case against Kandon Technologies Ltd, ARA claimed that they siphoned Sh5.5 billion which was transacted through their bank account at UBA in a period of seven months between October 2021 and April this year.

“Our investigations revealed that their account had transacted Sh5.5 billion in seven months and by the time we got intelligence information that they were engaged in money laundering, they had transferred the funds to other jurisdictions with only Sh15 million remaining,” said ARA.

The company is listed as owned by Nigerian nationals Uzoamaka Pauline Okoro with 200 shares and Ayowole Oluwasen Ayodele with 800 shares.

ARA claimed that the company received huge cash amounts from foreign jurisdictions which were then hurriedly transferred to other bank accounts in a move to disguise and conceal the source and destination of the suspected illicit funds.

According to ARA, they have established that the Nigerian firms are shell companies incorporated in Kenya for purposes of taking advantage of the liberal financial system to launder funds whose sources are not legitimate.

For Korapay Technologies Ltd, the State agency said they established it is owned by Gideon Oghenetega Orowiroro and Dickson Chukwuma Nsofor who had been receiving millions of shillings in their accounts before the money is transferred to other individuals.

“We established that they received the Sh29.5 million in a single transaction which raised suspicion as to the source of the funds,” said the agency.

According to ARA, the two companies are linked to five other Nigerian firms and a Kenyan businessman whose 62 bank accounts with over Sh6 billion were frozen last week over allegations that they are engaged in card fraud and international money laundering.

ARA, in its application, claimed that Flutterwave Ltd, Elivalat Fintech Ltd, Hupesi Solutions, Boxtrip Travels and Tours, Bagtrip Travels Ltd, Cruz Ride Auto Ltd, and businessman Simon Karanja were the entities behind the alleged money laundering scheme involving Sh6.2 billion. - Paul Ogemba, The Standard

 

Tanzanians are bracing for tougher times ahead as fuel prices across the country rose with effect from Wednesday, despite government subsidies.

According to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura), prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene have risen to levels never recorded before in the local market.

As from July 6, 2022, a litre of petrol now costs Tsh3,220 ($1.38) in Dar es Salaam up from Tsh2,994 ($1.28) last month, while that of diesel will now be Tsh3,143 ($1.35) from Tsh3,131 ($1.34), the regulator said in a statement.

Retail price of kerosene will be Tsh3,442 ($1.48) a litre up from Tsh3,299 ($1.41) last month.

In some places like Kagera, a litre of petrol costs up to Tsh3,435 ($1.47).

However, the prices would have been much higher without the government’s Tsh100 billion ($42 million) monthly subsidy that began June.

“Oil marketing companies are free to sell their products at a price that gives them a competitive advantage provided that such price does not exceed the price cap,” Ewura said in a statement signed by its director general Modestus Lumato. - THE CITIZEN

 

KIGALI, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The Rwandan parliament on Wednesday approved a budget of 4.6 trillion Rwandan francs (about 4.6 billion U.S. dollars) for the country's 2022/2023 fiscal year that starts next month.

The budget represents an increase of 217.8 billion Rwandan francs compared to the 2021/2022 revised budget.

"The budget reflects successes made in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccination roll-out and other measures as well as the economic recovery that started in 2021. It has also considered the crisis brought by the Russia-Ukraine war, which is affecting the recovery efforts by rising oil and food prices," Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwandan minister of finance and economic planning told legislators.

The budget increase will focus on financing the post-pandemic economic recovery efforts as well as finance medium-term development objectives enshrined in the National Strategy for Transformation, he added.

The Rwandan government will fund the budget to a tune of 80.5 percent, according to the ministry of finance and economic planning, while external grants will account for 906.9 billion Rwandan francs, which is 19.5 percent of the total budget.

According to Ndagijimana, the Rwandan government will allocate 2.7 trillion Rwandan francs to scale up agriculture productivity, create jobs, support private sector development and strengthen climate change mitigation measures.

The funds will also be channeled toward increasing access to electricity and clean water, support urbanization and settlement, improve the national road network, scale up adoption of ICT, automate Umurenge Sacco's (Sector Savings and Credit Cooperatives) and implement agriculture de-risking and financing facility.

Out of the total budget, about 1.2 trillion Rwandan francs will be spent on improving quality and access to health and education, eradicate extreme poverty through scaling up of social protection programs, improve nutrition through early detection, provision of fortified foods and scaling up of early childhood development facilities.

The funds will also promote family and gender, sports and culture as well as disaster management through enhancing disaster preparedness, response and recovery, according to the ministry of finance and economic planning.

Last month, Rwanda announced an additional 250 million U.S. dollars for the Economic Recovery Fund as part of the country's efforts to support the recovery of businesses severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Fund prioritizes sectors including tourism and hospitality, manufacturing, transport and logistics, agro-processing, education, and small and medium-sized enterprises linked to domestic and global supply chains, said Rwanda Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente last month while launching the second phase of economic recovery fund.

Rwanda's economy recorded a growth of 10.9 percent in 2021, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

The agency in a report for the year 2021 said that the sustained recovery during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic managed to reverse the 3.4 percent contraction recorded in 2020. - Xinhua

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