Nigerian Caught at JKIA with 100M in Cash Risks Losing the Money to Assets Recovery Agency

A Nigerian arrested at JKIA with Sh100m in a bag risks jail time after he failed to produce documents supporting the legitimacy of the cash.

The money was handed to Kenya Airways for safe keepingThe Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is seeking court orders to freeze over Sh100 million seized from a Nigerian at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while heading to Dubai.

Mauzu Bala was arrested Friday with the money in 880,000 US dollars, 60,000 euros and 63,000 Nigerian naira stacked in his handbag.

The Assets recovery agency said his failure to disclose that he was carrying such a huge amount of money and produce documents supporting the legitimacy of the cash raised suspicion of money laundering.

Section 12 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act requires a person to declare any amount above $10,000 (approximately over Sh1 million).

The Act gives the agency powers to obtain a court order seizing money within five days, where there is reasonable grounds to believe that it is illicit money.

“The threshold for requiring the declaration was not complied as the respondent did not disclose the source of the cash, the business he was doing and the basis of moving with cash of that magnitude,” Fedrick Musyoki, a police investigator attached to ARA, said in an affidavit.

“There are reasonable grounds to suspect the funds found in possession of the respondents in cash may be a direct or indirect benefit or proceeds of crime obtained from a complex money laundering scheme and are liable to be forfeited to the state under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009.”

When asked why he was carrying such a huge amount, Mr Bala allegedly said he was heading to Dubai for business.


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