KRA busts Kenyan with Sh238m at JKIA

Jomo Kenyatta international airport

A Kenya Airways ground crew checks in passengers at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi on August 1, 2020.

Photo credit: File | Nation

Customs officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have arrested a passenger over a possible money-laundering racket.

The passenger, a Kenyan whose identity is yet to be disclosed, had arrived in Nairobi carrying Sh238 million in cash that he could not account for.

He had US$2 million in his luggage, but gave a wrong declaration on what the money was for upon landing from Bujumbura, Burundi.

According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the traveller said the money, whose origin was Banque de Credit de Bujumbura (BCB), was meant to be handed over to Brinks Global Services, Kenya. 

“After clearance by Customs Unit at the airport, the traveller later, presented the same money at the Swiss Port Cargo shed with different export documents for shipment to Global Services, UK,” KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Lilian Nyawanda said.

Different documents

“The documents produced to support the export request were different from those produced on entry into the country,” she added.

Brinks Global is a logistics company that offers secure transport of valuable assets to more than 100 countries. The company’s offices at JKIA are located at the Swiss Port Cargo complex.

Sources at JKIA told the Nation that the suspect was trying to send the money as a parcel to the UK, which raised suspicion.

“After noting the inconsistencies in information provided by the passenger, KRA has invited Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) to assist in investigating the matter as a possible money-laundering attempt,” KRA said.

“The money has been held and the matter is under investigation,” said the taxman.

Passenger released

The passenger has apparently been released from the JKIA Police Station as investigations continue.

The discovery comes just three weeks after a Bahraini national was arrested at the same airport with US$975,000 (Sh110,760,000) in cash.

Kameel Jaid Sameel was arrested on January 22 on transit to Bahrain through Egyptian Airlines.

“The alert was that the passenger had earlier made several attempts to deposit the currency in a bank but had failed,” KRA noted.

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