Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji

Kenya:Bank in trouble over terrorism link

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji

Diamond Trust Bank is facing a hard task to clear its name from the accusation that it supports terrorism activities.

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has unearthed suspicious financial transaction at the Bank which is said to have been used to aid and abet terrorist attack at the DusitD2 business hub in Riverside, Nairobi. Haji divulged this when he appeared before the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in Parliament on Monday, February 25.

The State Prosecutor mentioned a case in which a customer withdrew Kshs50 million ($50,000) in one week at the Bank’s Eastleigh Branch in Nairobi noting that the manager to do due diligence. He castigated the bank’s management for failing to provide CCTV footage of withdrawals.

He further disclosed that the amount withdrawn at the Bank was channeled to Somalia and Syria to fund terror activities including the DusitD2 terror attack which claimed 21 lives.

He also threw his weight behind the strict banking regulations enacted by the Central Banking of Kenya saying Banks have no option but adhere to daily transaction limit of Kshs.1 million ($10,000).

“If we are going to succeed against corruption and terrorism, we need proper and effective banking regulations,” said Haji.6y`      l;,m

In a bid to curb money laundering, tame fraudulent money movements while zeroing in on those financing corruption and terrorism activities, the Central Bank of Kenya in 2016, stipulated tough rules to monitor large cash transactions.

Under the new regulations, a customer is required to state where they are taking the money, for what use, why they are not using electronic transfer options, the source of the funds and the full identity of the intended beneficiaries of the money.

On February 20, Eastleigh branch manager Ms.  Sophia Njoki Mbogo was arraigned and charged in the court of law for aiding and abetting terrorism.

Appearing before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, she pleaded not guilty to three counts. She was charged with failure to report suspicious activity regarding proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering, aiding and abetting commission of terrorism act and failure to report a suspicious cash transaction amounting to millions of shillings.

 

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