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Troubled MozzartBet Now Risks Being Shut

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A businessman who received more than half-a-billion from betting firm MozzartBet mid last year wants the High Court to allow him access to his frozen bank accounts.

Mr Peter Kiilu and his companies Kimaco Connections Ltd and Pescom Kenya want to be allowed to withdraw Sh64.2 million to pay among others, taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority, rent and salaries to his employees.

The businessman said the order obtained by Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) in December, freezing Sh300 million in his three accounts is punitive because he can no longer meet his financial obligations.

He said he hasn’t been charged with any offence and the frozen funds are not proceeds of crime as alleged.

“The respondents require to urgently access the bank accounts to make payment of salaries, rent, Kenya Revenue Authority taxes and other third parties,” he said through lawyer Patrick Lutta.

The businessman said he might default in his financial obligations, be bankrupted and eventually close down operations, unless the court allows him to withdraw the funds at Co-operative Bank, Diamond Trust Bank and NCBA.

But appearing before Justice Hedwig Ong’udi on Wednesday, a state counsel said the account at NCBA was not frozen and allowing him to access the other acounts, would render the pending case useless.

Justice Ongudi gave the agency time to file it’s response and argue the case next Tuesday.

MozzartBet found itself in trouble after the State agency obtained a court order to investigate several accounts belonging to Mr Kiilu and his wife, after the betting firm wired to their companies more than Sh641 million in four months.

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ARA flagged the transactions as suspicious, raising doubt over the source of the money the betting firm wired to Kimaco Connections between February and June.

ARA reckons that MozzartBet sent a total Sh256 million within five days and the funds were later moved to an account at Co-operative Bank.

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