A British citizen has been caught at the centre of a multi-million shilling money laundering scheme by allegedly opening a motorcycle spares shop to disguise the source of funds.
The Asset Recovery Agency through a suit filed at the High Court claims that Anton Ryan Cornelius incorporated African Confidence Limited to trade in motor cycle seat covers, but received $1,101,792 (Sh139,872,494) in the company account within a few months.
"Investigations established that transactional activities in the account held by African Confidence Ltd at DTB Bank are inconsistent with the nature of his declared business. There is no way a company dealing with motorcycles seat covers could make over Sh100 million in less than a year," said ARA.
The agency through lawyer Jennifer Gitiri suspects that the Briton is using the company as a conduit of dirty money from outside the country and wants the court to freeze his accounts pending determination of the suit.
Among the listed accounts are Cornelius' personal account at DTB Bank with $308,332 (Sh39,142,747), his company's account with $40,680 (Sh5,164,326) and a third account with Sh145,235.
Ms Gitiri stated that after discovery of the huge deposits in Cornelius' three accounts; he could not offer any explanation to prove he received the money from genuine sources.
"He could not give a clear description on the source of the funds as at one time he alleged that the money were from the sale and transfer of a family land but in another instance he lied that the funds were proceeds of the closure of his personal account at JP Morgan Bank in the US," said Gitiri.
She told the court that the investigations had also established Cornelius is the sole director and shareholder of Jossimba Limited which was incorporated in Seychelles and that the company has an offshore bank account at Bank One Limited in Mauritius.
According to the agency, they suspect that the offshore account in Mauritius is the one being used by the Briton to launder money into the country.
ARA stated that although the Briton had indicated that the money was from the sale of a family land in Kilifi, their investigations established that no such land existed and that the document he supplied did not belong to him.
"He was not even a party to the purported sale of the land and when asked further, he changed the narrative saying that he was only a contact person for the seller and that the amount was deposited in his account by the alleged buyer," said ARA.
The agency stated that even if the money was paid on behalf of someone, there was no indication of movement of the proceeds to the other person's account which raised suspicions that they are proceeds of international crime.
ARA submitted that they have all the reasons to believe the Briton is engaged in complex money laundering scheme across several countries and pleaded with the court to freeze the account to enable the agency complete investigations.