The Sh 238M intercepted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (jkia) has been linked to a former senior government official facing corruption-related charges.
Officials aware of the case said they had talked to the man who had come with the cash and he confirmed the ownership which is now subject to investigation.
The money had apparently originated from Dubai and sent to Burundi where the man picked the same.
The former top government official is facing a number of graft related charges.
He is said to have talked to the man found with the money instructing him what to do and how.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Customs Officers based at JKIA intercepted Sh238 Million in foreign currency from a traveller.
The suspect, a Kenya national, had arrived in the country from Bujumbura, Burundi.
The money packed as a parcel containing USD 2 million was seized following a wrongful declaration on the intended destination.
KRA said upon arrival, the passenger made a declaration of the currency indicating the origin as Banque de Credit de Bujumbura (BCB).
According to KRA, after clearance by Customs Unit at the airport, the traveller later presented the same money at the Swissport Cargo shed with different export documents for shipment to a UK company.
“The documents produced to support the export request were different from those produced on entry into the country,” KRA said.
Commissioner Customs and Border Control Lillian Nyawanda said after noting the inconsistencies in information provided by the passenger, KRA has invited Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) to assist in investigating the matter as a possible money-laundering attempt.
The money was held and the matter is under investigation.
“KRA encourages passengers to correctly declare all cargo/items at the Ports of entry and exit as required under the provisions of the Second and Third Schedules of the EAC Customs Management Act, 2004,” she said.
The incident comes weeks after ARA obtained orders to take custody of more than Sh100 million seized from a foreigner at the airport.
The High Court ordered the foreigner not to leave the country until investigations are complete.
Khalid Jameel Said Ahmaad, 55, who was travelling on a Bahrain passport had been in the county for about two weeks.
He was detained on January 28 at JKIA as he planned to fly out of the country.
He had entered the country from Cairo, Egypt on January 13.
Detectives are now trying to piece together information on how he entered the country with huge sums of money undetected.
Although widely travelled across the world, this was his first travel to Kenya.
Detectives were alerted of Khalid’s suspicious activities after he attempted to open bank accounts.
He approached Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) but was turned down when he failed to provide sufficient documents to enable him to open an account.
“The two banks filed a suspicious activity by a foreigner who sought to bank US$ 1million (about Sh113 million),” an investigator told the People Daily.
Afterwards, the man flew to Mombasa where he attempted to deposit the money at a DTB Bank, Nyali branch account held by a Pakistan community charity organisation but was again turned down.
On January 27, Khalid went to JKIA Customs offices to inquire about travel requirements to Bahrain.
He finally secured a flight to Bahrain via Cairo, scheduled to leave the country at 0730hours on Friday.
But as he made his way to JKIA’s Terminal 1A, detectives and customs officials who lay in wait pounced on him and seized his luggage where the money was confiscated.
This means he had already spent about US$23,000 (about Sh2.9 million) from the sum he had failed to deposit.
Officials at the airport said, based on intelligence shared by Financial Report Centre (FRC), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Customs and Border Control staff at JKIA Passenger Terminals intercepted the passenger.
He had planned to take a flight to Bahrain through Egypt Air and was carrying USD 977,000 cash, which is about Sh110 million at an exchange rate of Sh113.
Story by The Star
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