Business & Events

Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency drops fraud charges against Kora

Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has dropped the fraud allegation charges against Nigerian payment infrastructure company, Kora.  The agency in new court documents filed at the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division said that it had withdrawn its suit in its entirety.  The document was drawn and filed on the 19th of October 2022 and signed by state counsel Stephen Githinji on behalf of Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency director.  Meanwhile, another document issued by the Kenyan Directorate of Criminal Investigation earlier this week cleared Kora of any wrongdoing in the ARA application.

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

  • “Please note that investigations are now finalised. I would like to confirm that allegations of money laundering and card fraud against [Kora] were not established. Please treat this communication as final”

Innocence proved: Reacting to the development, Kora said the withdrawal of the case confirmed its earlier claim that it was innocent of all the allegations. Kora’s Chief Operations Officer, Gideon Orovwiroro, said:

  • “Kora has always maintained its innocence in this matter and we are glad that finally the ARA and the DCI have dropped all charges and ratified Kora. We’d also like to commend both agencies for their professionalism and thoroughness in seeing this investigation to the conclusive end,” says,
  • “Kora acknowledges the potential Kenya presents as we pursue our mission to make it easy for global businesses to accept payments in Africa, and for African businesses to accept global payments. We are delighted to get back to building the most robust payment product on the African continent.
  • “We have some exciting announcements coming soon, including multi-currency bank account products for African businesses. This will empower merchants to have bank accounts in GBP, EUR, USD, and other in-demand currencies. Kora is excited about this development as it is further proof of its commitment to enrich the quality of merchants’ payments and build more meaningful financial products.”

The allegation: Kora had come under the spotlight in July when the ARA filed two suits against the businesses and the Kenyan High Court froze its accounts on the suspicion that they brought over $50 million (KES6 billion) into Kenya as part of a money laundering scheme.

Lady Justice Esther Maina froze $249,990 (KES 29.5 million) held in Korapay’s Equity Bank account while another company being investigated, Kandon Technologies had $126,800 (KES 15 million) in 2 UBA accounts frozen by Justice Maina.

Korapay and Kandon Technologies Limited were accused of card fraud and international money laundering.