Asset recovery agency moves to seize 290 million shillings from two Congolese businessmen

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Two Congolese businessmen could lose 290 million shillings believed to be the proceeds of an international crime as the Asset Recovery Agency seeks to recover the money.

Through a complaint filed in the Nairobi High Court, ARA claims that Jean-Paul Tshikangu Musangu, Venan Ma-Mabiala Mabiala and their company Groupe Elykia Limited are in possession of the illicit funds which should be confiscated for the benefit of the State.

The agency also wants the businessmen to confiscate two cars, a Mercedes Benz and a Bentley Bentayaga worth 39.7 million shillings, which they allegedly bought using the proceeds of illicit funds.

Senior state attorney Mohammed Adow, representing the state agency, said the traders could not explain the source of their wealth. The ARA thinks they’re part of a money laundering syndicate.

“Investigations show that they executed a complex money laundering scheme designed to conceal, conceal the nature, source, disposition and movement of illicit funds, believed to be proceeds of crime,” Adow said.

The lawyer said there is evidence showing that the funds are direct or indirect benefits, profits and proceeds of crime.

ARA investigator Fredrick Musyoki said intelligence reports from December 3, 2021 showed complex money laundering schemes and the acquisition of proceeds of crime. Their bank accounts showed huge deposits from foreign jurisdictions without the source being revealed.

“An analysis of Elykia’s bank statement established that it had $1,747,105 (Sh199,082,614) in suspicious funds received from foreign jurisdictions.”

When summoned, the traders said they were in the timber export business, but there was no evidence to prove this. The businessmen do not have business premises or documents proving that they have paid taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Musyoki said Musangu told investigators the money came from a Bulgarian identified only as Dmitri who had signed a contract with them to supply timber worth $5 million (569 million shillings).

“He told us that he had no contact for Dmitri and that they only communicated when they met in Congo and Paris. When the person sent the money, he used another party to pay both cars,” the investigator added.

Musyoki said Mabianga also confirmed that their company had no head office in Congo or Kenya, and that they had no evidence to prove that they had ordered Congo timber to export to the Congo. ‘Europe.

As soon as the two traders received money from foreign jurisdictions, they rushed to withdraw cash and transfer some of it to their families’ accounts.

ARA asked the court to declare that the funds in the three accounts totaling 289,601,416 shillings are proceeds of crime and subject to forfeiture to the state.

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