Assets agency wants Sh3.1m found hidden in Nigerian's jacket forfeited to State


A state agency now wants US $28,000 (Sh3.1 million) seized from a Nigerian sent from USA concealed in a jacket and textbooks forfeited to the government.

Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) says in the application that Peter Oluwafemi Olaiwon has failed to explain the source of money, making the agency believe that he was using Kenya as a smuggling route for illicit funds.

“There are reasonable grounds to suspect the funds in issue may be a direct or indirect benefit, profits and or proceeds of crime obtained from a complex money laundering scheme or intended for the commission of crime and are liable to be forfeited to the State,” the agency said in the application.

The money was shipped to the country from South Carolina, USA from a woman identified as Linda Dye, concealed in a bag that contained a jacket, six novels, seven T-shirts and two shirts.

When asked about the money, Mr Olaiwon allegedly stated the parcel was sent by a relative he identified as Linda Dye who stays in USA. Linda, he allegedly said, is a sister to his mother and that she and her aunt did not know that they were supposed to declare the cash.

The Nigeria further said he does music production which earns approximately US $ 2000 (Sh227,000) per month and does poultry farming which also gives him an income of approximately US $ 44,000 (Sh4.9 million) per year.

“That when I came to Kenya I had about US $ 4000 in my account for use during my holiday,” he allegedly said in a statement filed at the agency.

ARA, however says the money is suspected to be proceeds of crime. The Nigerian was charged on November 8, with offences of financial promotion under proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

He denied the charges and was released on a cash bail of Sh150,000 and a personal bond of Sh200,000.

“Investigations further established that the above fund was disguised and declared as a parcel of text books and clothes raising reasonable suspicion of money laundering scheme executed in an effort to conceal the nature, source, location, destination, disposition, usage and movement of the illicit funds contrary to the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act,” ARA said.

Section 12 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act requires a person to declare any amount above $10,000 (approximately over Sh1 million).