Nairobi court forfeits to state Sh 53m belonging to African Confidence Limited and its director Anton Cornelius

Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.

The High Court in Nairobi has declared Sh 53 million belonging to the director of African Confidence Limited, Anton Ryan Cornelius to be proceeds of crime.

Anti-corruption Court Judge Esther Maina went ahead to forfeit the sh 53,048,969.92 received from a Mauritius bank to the State.

The money was held in three accounts at Diamond Trust Bank in USD and Ksh. The court heard that the money amounted to Sh 145,235.06, USD 308,332.80 (apprx. Sh 46,866,585.6) and USD 40,680.16 (apprx. Sh 6,183,384.32).

“An order be and is hereby issued for forfeiture of the funds held in the three bank accounts held at Diamond Trust Bank to the Assets Recovery Agency on behalf of the Government,” justice Maina ruled.

The funds were received from an account the name of Jossimba Limited domiciled at Bank One Limited in Mauritius.

According to the judge, the agency proved on a balance of probability that Cornelius and his company had funds in their accounts which could not be explained other than on the basis that it was the proceeds of a money laundering scheme. 

“The income and capital gains accruing from the funds are also proceeds of crime,” the judge added.

It was the court’s finding that Cornelius’s explanation for the source of money was unsatisfactory.

The accounts were flagged and ARA received information that there were suspicious funds transferred in the Cornelius and the company accounts, which were suspected to be proceeds of crime.

In response, Cornelius  provided a share purchase agreement to the effect that he allegedly received Sh 62,000,000 as consideration from a share purchase agreement with respect to Dalton Limited between Heather Anne Cornelius & Natasha Cornelius and Thomas Morton & Emma Morton. 

In another instance, Cornelius is alleged to have stated that the source of the funds was from closure proceeds of his personal account held at JP Morgan Chase Bank in New York.

The court heard that Cornelius had produced a letter to confirm the closure of Bank Account Number  belonging to Jossimba Limited with a balance of USD 446,150.27 which was closed on 11th March 2021 because of a change in the Bank’s internal Policy. 

He had also explained that he intended to obtain an investment visa in Kenya and the conditions were that he should have a bank account with a minimum of USD 100,000 to facilitate the process.

However, the court found this explanation not satisfactory.

The court also heard that investigations uncovered that Cornelius’s father had been convicted over massive fraud that had involved 500 million USD in Dubai.