Kenyan Asset Recovery Agency drops fraud charges against Nigerian fintech company, Kora

The Kenya Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has dropped charges of fraud indictment against Nigerian payments infrastructure company, Kora.

The agency in new court papers filed with the Kenya High Court in Nairobi’s Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Division said it had withdrawn its lawsuit in its entirety.

The document was drafted and filed on October 19, 2022 and signed by State Attorney Stephen Githinji on behalf of the Director of the Kenya Asset Recovery Agency.

Meanwhile, another document issued by the Kenya Criminal Investigation Directorate earlier this week cleared Kora of any wrongdoing in the ARA app.

Case not established: The DCI in a document exonerating the company said it could not make any case against the company after its investigations. Part of the DCI statement read:

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  • “Keep in mind that the investigations are now complete. I would like to confirm that the complaints of money laundering and card fraud against [Kora] they were not established. Please treat this communication as final”

Proven Innocence: Reacting to the development, Kora said the withdrawal of the case confirmed his earlier claim that he was innocent of all charges. Kora COO Gideon Orovwiroro said:

  • “Kora has always maintained her innocence in this matter and we are pleased that the ARA and DCI have finally dropped all charges and upheld Kora. We would also like to commend both agencies for their professionalism and thoroughness in bringing this investigation to the conclusive end.” He says,
  • “Kora recognizes the potential that Kenya presents as we pursue our mission to make it easier for global businesses to accept payments in Africa and for African businesses to accept global payments. We are delighted to rebuild the strongest payment product on the African continent.
  • “We will have some exciting announcements soon, including multi-currency bank account products for African businesses. This will allow merchants to have bank accounts in GBP, EUR, USD and other demand currencies. Kora is excited about this development as it is further evidence of their commitment to improving the quality of merchant payments and creating more meaningful financial products.”

The accusation: Kora had been in the spotlight in July when the ARA filed two lawsuits against the companies and the Kenyan High Court froze their accounts on suspicion that they brought more than $50 million (KES6 billion) into Kenya as part of a scheme to money laundering.

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Judge Lady Esther Maina froze $249,990 (KES 29.5 million) held in Korapay’s Equity Bank account, while another company under investigation, Kandon Technologies, had $126,800 (KES 15 million) in 2 UBA accounts frozen for Judge Maine.

Korapay and Kandon Technologies Limited were charged with card fraud and international money laundering.

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