A court in Kenya has granted the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) application from August 25th to prevent Nigeria’s financial technology company, Flutterwave, from withdrawing or transferring its funds, amounting to $3.3 million or Ksh400.6 million. 

The court’s ruling has trapped flutterwave’s funds in three bank accounts, including two accounts in UBA, one account in Access Bank and 19 Safaricom M-Pesa paybill numbers considering recent allegations of card fraud and money laundering. 

What’s more 
ARA filings revealed that one of the two UBA accounts belonging to flutterwave issued debits of Sh136 million or $1.13 million from chargebacks, reversals, and refunds. The agency tagged this as fraudulent. ARA also revealed a wrongful conversion of dollars into shillings in that account, for a transaction of Ksh231 million. 

In case you missed it 

  • Just last month, the ARA received a court order to seize flutterwave funds scattered in 62 bank accounts and amounting to $59.2 million or Sh6.2 billion. 
  • ARA suspected card fraud after flutterwave processed transactions amounting to $59.2 billion using cards issued by the same bank, at the same point and on the same day. 
  • The Central Bank of Kenya, also in that month, claimed that Flutterwave and Chipper Cash (another FinTech company) operated as payment service companies unlicensed. 
  • But Flutterwave vehemently denied the allegations.

What you should know 
Flutterwave, Africa’s biggest FinTech company, with a valuation at $3 billion provides payment services across Africa. The unicorn provides its services in 34 African countries and processes 200 million transactions worth over $16 billion.

Industry experts have claimed that Kenya has a lengthy licensing procedure as payment companies founded a decade ago just received their license 2 years back. Meanwhile Flutterwave, which began operation in 2016, claims that it has been in contact with the Central Bank of Kenya to receive its license. And it runs its services through its partners: commercial banks, and others. 

Barter card, a branch of service from flutterwave, recently announced the suspension of its virtual card service to holders.

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