The High Court has lifted a freeze order on Sh5.6 billion linked to two Nigerians suspected to enjoy the backing of a powerful Kenyan politician and two Kenyans.
An affidavit filed in court by an investigator working at Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) said the explanation given by OIT Africa Ltd, Avalon Offshore Logistics Ltd and RemX Capital Ltd was satisfactory, leading to the release of the billions held in multiple accounts at Equity and UBA Bank.
ALSO READ: Powerful politician, Nigerians linked to frozen Sh5.6bn in Equity and UBA
The funds were frozen over suspicion that they were proceeds of crime and money laundering.
ARA has said that RemX Capital explained that they were running an online remittance platform, which allows individuals from abroad to send money to their loved ones in Nigeria and Kenya.
RemX capital which facilitated the transactions does not have regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to operate remittance or payments services. The addresses listed at the registrar of companies are either non-existence or owned by different entities.
“It is hereby ordered, that the preservation orders issued in ASEC Misc E014 of 2022 are discharged accordingly,” Justice Esther Maina said in the ruling.
The application to withdraw the case was made on August 29 under section 19 of the proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.
ARA successfully blocked the billions after noting that money was wired into the country using a pattern of transactions that depict complex money laundering schemes.
The money belonged to OIT Africa Ltd, Avalon Offshore Logistics Ltd and RemX Capital Ltd and was wired into the country over a period of time from multiple countries, including Nigeria.
The largest belonged to OIT Africa Ltd with Sh4.8 billion in two bank accounts at Equity and one in UBA.
Avalon Offshore Logistics had Sh43.5 million in two Equity accounts, while RemX Capital had Sh765 million banked in one account at UBA.
Avalon Offshore is owned by Nigerians Jeffrey Nnaoma Michaels and Uduma Okoro Christopher Kalu and it was registered in Kenya on November 2020, with an address in Westlands.
We cannot name the politician in this story for legal reasons.
ALSO READ: Politician, Nigerians wired Sh25bn in days amid money laundering fears
Both Kalu and Nnaoma are listed as directors of the company, with Kalu holding 1,600 ordinary shares while the rest are owned by his partner.
An online search reveals that Nnaoma is listed as a director of several companies registered in Nigeria, including a forex bureau.
OIT Africa is owned by Vionnah Akoth Odongo and Kenneth Odongo Raminya, with 500 shares each and the company was registered on July 14, 2017.
Information obtained from the registrar of Companies showed that OIT Africa operates from 680 Plaza, the building that hosts the 680 Hotel.
According to information available in the Business Registration Service online portal, RemX Capital Limited is owned by RemX Holding Kenya Limited- a company registered in Dubai- John Kisilu Kamusina and Evalyn Wawira Gachoki.
RemX is owned by Nehikhare Eghosasere and Demuren Olufemi Olukunmi, with its offices on 16C Ruxton Road, Ikoyi, an island in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.