A Kenyan excessive court docket has unfrozen $3 million belonging to fintech large Flutterwave and two of its associates, ending a authorized wrangle that started in 2022, TechCabal has confirmed. The funds continued to be withheld regardless of a court docket order to launch them in November 2023.
In July 2023, Kenya’s Belongings Restoration Company sought court docket approval to withdraw cash laundering costs towards the fintech startup, however the decide denied the request, citing the ARA’s failure to supply proof for dropping the proceedings.
The cost was ultimately withdrawn in November 2023, which meant that Flutterwave would regain entry to the remaining $3 million of its funds.
“The ARA has formally withdrawn its swimsuit towards us, marking an finish to the scrutiny of Flutterwave Funds Know-how Restricted Kenya’s financial institution accounts,” Flutterwave said in a statement in November 2023.
The Asset Restoration Company (ARA) initially froze over $55 million of funds belonging to Flutterwave in 2022 following an allegation that the funds have been proceeds of fraud and cash laundering. The primary case was withdrawn in March 2023, after which Flutterwave recovered the vast majority of the funds amounting to $52.5 million.
The remainder of the funds weren’t instantly launched, because the Asset Restoration Company (ARA) opposed unfreezing them on the time. In January 2024, Excessive Court docket Choose Nixon Sifuna, assigned to the case, criticized the ARA for requesting to withdraw a second case.
In accordance with the ARA, it discovered Flutterwave harmless of any fraud on this case, but it withdrew it and requested that it proceed to carry the funds. “Such a litigation facade or decoy is inappropriate, an abuse of the court docket course of, and an try at squandering the scarce judicial time,” Choose Sifuna said.
With the funds within the firm’s fingers, Flutterwave’s subsequent enterprise transfer can be searching for a funds and remittance license in Kenya. In contrast to different licensed fee corporations, Flutterwave shouldn’t be legally allowed to gather or settle funds in Kenya. It solely has partnerships with native and worldwide corporations working in Kenya, together with Uber.
Kenya is one in every of Flutterwave’s primary markets, alongside Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. The corporate has additionally arrange strategic workplaces in Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
*It is a growing story