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Kenya: Blow to Sonko As Court Freezes His Bank Accounts Again

by Nigeria Currently
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko Thursday suffered a blow after the High Court froze his 10 accounts, holding about Sh18 million, suspected to have been stolen from the county.

The freezing order was granted two days after the embattled governor successfully argued for the lifting of an order obtained by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) in December, freezing five of his accounts.

Thursday, Justice Luka Kimaru froze the accounts pending the filing of an application for the amount to be forfeited to the government.

The court barred Mr Sonko from transferring, withdrawing or using the funds deposited in six accounts at Equity Bank, three at Diamond Trust Bank, and another at Co-operative Bank of Kenya.

In the application, the agency said there were suspicious cash deposits and withdrawals between 2017 and 2020, an indication of money laundering activities.

The agency showed, in court documents, that in one of the accounts, which holds Sh4.2 million, there were 35 deposits and withdrawals totalling Sh45 million between July 5, 2017 and March 2, 2019.

In yet another account held at Equity Bank, there were a total of 12 withdrawals and deposits, all amounting to Sh28.3 million.

On July 2017, Mr Sonko allegedly received Sh3.4 million from Arbab Auto Ltd which was deposited in four different accounts.

ARA said investigations revealed that most of the deposits were tranches of below Sh1 million, to evade the reporting threshold of proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act and Central Bank of Kenya prudential guidelines.