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Court Freezes Millions Sent To A Third Woman By Belgian Money Launderer Merc De Messel



The High Court has frozen two bank accounts holding Sh50 million sent to a woman by a Belgian man suspected to be part of money laundering scheme bringing the total amount frozen so far to more than Sh260 million.

The court froze the two accounts at Equity bank belonging to Jane Wangui Kago.

One of the accounts held Sh 3,11,800 and another had Euros 355,990.13 (equivalent Sh 45,566,720).

“A preservation Order be and is hereby issued prohibiting the Respondents, her/his employees, agents, servants or any other person acting on their behalf from transacting, withdrawing, transacting, withdrawing, transferring, or dealing in any manner howsoever in respect of any profits or benefits derived or accrued from the funds specified”, ordered Justice Nzioka.

Justice Grace Nzioka prohibited Kago from withdrawing the money, pending the determination of a case filed by Assets Recovery Agency. The money was wired to Kago by Merc De Messel, who also wired millions to two other women in August.

“The respondent, her servants, employees, agents or any other person is prohibited from withdrawing, transacting, transferring or dealing in any manner with the said money,” the judge ruled.

She added that the money will be preserved for 90 days pending filing of a forfeiture order by the ARA, who suspect the money is proceeds of crime.

The agency told the court that there was imminent risk that the funds may be withdrawn, transferred or dispatched if the preservation orders are not granted.

The agency said if not stopped, the money might be transferred prejudicing investigations into money laundering and the tracing, identification and recovery of proceeds of crime.

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“The respondent is suspected to be part of a syndicate involved in a complex money laundering scheme involving a foreign national Marc De Messel who is suspected to be the kingpin of the money laundering scheme,” the agency told the court.

The officer added that preliminary investigations established that Kago executed a complex scheme of money laundering designed to conceal, disguise the nature, source, deposition and movement of illicit funds suspected to constitute proceeds of crime.

“There are reasonable grounds and evidence demonstrating that the funds held by the respondent in the specified bank accounts are direct or indirect benefits, profits or proceeds of crime obtained from a complex money laundering scheme and liable to be forfeited to the State,” he added.

According to court documents, the Agency received information into a suspected case of complex money laundering schemes, and proceeds of crime involving multiple money transactions of approximately Euro 355,990.13 and Sh. 3,111,800 from foreign jurisdiction whose source could not legitimately be established involving Wangui.

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