The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) has gone after a 21-year-old college student who has Sh121 million in her bank account.
The agency has filed an application in court seeking to freeze the account owned by Felesta Nyamathira Njoroge, a student at Nairobi Technical Training Institute.
Felesta was summoned by detectives after a sum of Sh102,654,024 was discovered in her Co-Operative Bank account. It was established that she is the sole signatory and beneficial owner of the account in question.
Investigations revealed that the money was deposited in the account in four transactions between August 4th and August 6th, 2021. The account was opened two days before the huge deposits were made.
On August 4th, Sh25,803,756 was deposited into the account before receiving Sh26,028,156 and Sh25,242,756 in two separate transactions the following day. A further Sh25,579,356 was deposited on August 6th.
Felesta claims the money was a gift from her Belgian boyfriend identified as De Mesel Marc.
“Preliminary investigations have established the respondent opened the suspect account for the sole purpose of receiving the said funds which she declared the source to be from “my boyfriend” and the purpose as investing in land projects and safaris,” ARA says in an affidavit.
De Marc has since signed an affidavit admitting that he sent the money to Felesta to spend as she wishes.
“That I hereby admit that the donee will be full and absolute legal owner of the gifted money and even though I hope that she builds financial security for herself and our future children, she will be free to use the said gifted amount as per her own will,” his affidavit reads.
ARA summoned Felesta on October 18th to explain the suspicious transactions but she did not show up.
She instead sent her lawyers who termed the summons as vague, and that better and proper particulars of the alleged offense should be provided. Two days later, the attorneys informed the agency that their client was out of the country.
“We would like to inform you that our client, Felesta, is currently not in Kenya and in fact left the country on October 2nd, 2021. We do not have information on when our client will be coming back to Kenya.”
ARA suspects Felesta is part of a money-laundering syndicate involving foreigners and wants the account frozen pending completion of investigations.
“There are reasonable grounds to suspect the funds held in account number 02100705531800 held at Co-operative Bank in the name of the respondent, are illicit funds in which the respondent is involved in a money-laundering scheme, designed to conceal and disguise the nature, source location and movement of the funds,” their affidavit reads.
“Unless this honorable court grants the orders sought, the economic advantage derived from the commission of crimes will continue to benefit a few at the disadvantage of the general public interest,” investigating officer Fredrick Musyoki says in the affidavit.