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Woman in Sh108m ‘gift’ saga allowed to access cash as ARA drops suit



Woman in Sh108m ‘gift’ saga allowed to access cash as ARA drops suit

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 04:30 | By

Court hammer. PHOTO/Internet

Businesswoman Tebby Wambuku Kago who received Sh108 million as a “love gift” from her Belgian boyfriend is now free to use the money after the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) yesterday dropped a forfeiture suit against her.

Wambuku received the money from Marc De Mesel, a Belgian YouTube crypto personality, who also wired over Sh600 million to three other women, Felista Nyamathira Njoroge, Jane Wangui Kago and Sarah Wambui Kamanda.

It is said she was a friend to Nyamathira – the 21-year-old student who grabbed national headlines after receiving more than Sh108 million from the Belgian.

Wambuku and Wangui are sisters and received millions into their accounts from the tycoon.

Wambuku received Sh108 million, Nyamathira Sh109 million, Wangui Sh49 million and Wambui Sh100 million.

The women claimed to be in romantic relationships with the Belgian. Wambuku is said to have two children with Mesel, while Nyamathira and Wambui have one child each.

The transactions were detected by ARA as the recipients were withdrawing huge amounts of money.

When the suit against Wambuku was called for mention yesterday, ARA informed the court that investigations on the alleged money laundering were unfruitful.

“The investigations into the case found no sufficient evidence to sustain the forfeiture proceedings. We have consent signed by both parties to have the matter withdrawn,” ARA lawyer Mohamed Adow told High Court anti-corruption division judge Esther Maina.

Crime proceeds

The judge allowed the ARA request and marked the case as closed after adopting the consent filed.

The funds had been frozen by the court since December 2021 after ARA lodged a suit in court that the amounts were suspected to be proceeds of crime, as Wambuku could not satisfy the agency on the source.

ARA had informed the court that on diverse dates, Wambuku received Sh102.8 million and Sh37 million between August 10, 2021, and early November 2021.

However, upon accessing her’s bank account, ARA learned that the Sh37 million had disappeared and could not be traced, thus seeking the freezing of the remaining amount, a request that the court agreed to until the forfeiture application is heard and determined.

According to an affidavit filed in court, investigating officer Fredrick Musyoki says he conducted a preliminary analysis of the bank statement accounts held at Equity Bank Limited in the name of Wambuku and has established that the bank accounts were opened on February 22, 2021.

“A preliminary analysis of the bank statement for account number 1750180591737 (USD) held at Equity Bank Limited in the name of Wambuku has established that the account received a cumulative sum of USD 909,900 in four structured transactions in the month of August 2021 in one day,” reads the affidavit.

Musyoki says that Wambuku had indicated as self-employed during the opening of the back accounts but the transaction in the account does not reveal or depict any other transaction apart from what it received from Mesel.