Court freezes Virtual Financials International Limited Holding accounts over money laundering

Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.

The High Court anti-corruption court has issued orders to freeze two bank accounts belonging to Virtual Financials International Limited Holding.

Justice Esther Maina ordered the accounts to be frozen for three months pending the hearing and determination of forfeiture proceedings.

The accounts allegedly hold Sh 90 millions which are suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Virtual financials have two bank accounts held at Equity Bank – one containing USD 16,661.75 (apprx Sh 2.4 million) and another one containing Sh 60,789,500.

The Asset Recovery Agency moved to court seeking to freeze the two accounts after the agency received information that they are holding money suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities and money laundering.

According to the ARA there are no High Court orders currently preserving the funds in issue and there is imminent danger the Respondent shall dispose, transfer, withdraw and dissipate the said funds unless the court issues preservation orders.

ARA investigations conducted by the agency revealed complex fraud and money laundering schemes conducted by Virtual Financials International Ltd, its directors and associates rendering the said funds proceeds of crime liable for preservation and forfeiture.

“The said bank accounts received suspicious huge cash deposits from various suspicious sources and investigations established that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the funds in the issue were obtained through illegitimate means,” the court heard.

According to the agency, investigations established that Virtual Financials International Ltd executed a complex scheme of money laundering designed to conceal, disguise the nature, source of disposition and movement of illicit funds, suspected to constitute proceeds of crime 

The court heard that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the virtual bank accounts were used as conduits of money laundering contrary to Sections 3, 4 and 7 as read together with Section 16 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti- Money Laundering Act in an effort to conceal and disguise the nature, source, disposition or movement of the illicit funds.