More trouble for Flutterwave after Kenyan court freezes fintech bank accounts

Other affected companies include Boxtrip Travel and Tours, Bagtrip Travel, Elivalat Fintech, Adguru Technology, Hupesi Solutions, Cruz Ride Auto and Simon Karanja Ngige, who is listed as a director of Cruz.

The accounts – held in Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank and Ecobank – relate to around Kshs 6.7 billion ($56.7 million) in deposits in 56 accounts in total. 52 of the accounts are said to belong to Flutterwave.

According to local media, the ARA discovered that Flutterwave had concealed the nature of its business by allegedly providing a payment services platform without permission from the Central Bank of Kenya – a requirement of Section 12 of the national payment system law.

Instead, the ARA believes the accounts may have been used as conduits for money laundering under the guise of providing merchant services.

In response to the allegations, Flutterwave released this statement: “Allegations of financial irregularities involving the company in Kenya are entirely false, and we have the records to verify it.

“We are a fintech company that maintains the highest regulatory standards in our operations. Our Anti-Money Laundering (AML) practices and operations are regularly audited by one of the Big Four firms. We remain proactive in our engagements with regulators to continue to remain compliant. »

Latest allegations

The news is the latest in a series of allegations to hit Flutterwave in recent months, which revolve around the questionable business and personal practices of one of the fintech’s founders and current CEO, Olugbenga Agboola.

A recent investigation published in April this year into the fintech company by journalist David Hundeyin, alleged ghost co-founder identity, insider trading, employee stock option fraud, negligence of the company, sexual harassment and bullying at work.

“Flutterwave’s story is breathtaking,” Hundeyin says in an interview with The Africa Report.

“But this is just the tip of the iceberg: there is no doubt that more stories of fraud and misconduct will continue to emerge from the Nigerian fintech landscape – it is only a matter of time. On the outside, Nigerian fintech is an attractive prospect, so a lot of money is pouring into the sector indiscriminately. But we have to make a correction soon,” he says.

Agboola addressed the complaints in an email to employees a week later, stating that “the fact that the allegations of financial impropriety, conflict of interest and sexual harassment have been proven to be false or have already been reported, investigated and handled by management is less important to me”. than the reality that these claims may have shaken your confidence in the company.

“As founder and CEO, it is my responsibility to address any concerns you may have, and it will be a priority for me going forward.”

In February this year, Flutterwave raised $250 million in Series D funding, led by Tiger Global, tripling the company’s value to $3 billion.