Betting firm Mozzart Bet has been busted in money laundering schemes after Assets Recovery Agency (ARA ) questioned the source of Sh640 million it wired to bank accounts associated with it’s directors in five months.
Court documents show that the state agency flagged the account following with the suspicious transactions involving the Sh640 million that Mozzart Bet wired to Kimaco Connections between the months of February and August.
ARA argues that the money was not part of the gambling proceeds in the company which operates in a sector that has recently come under increased scrutiny from the government.
The agency wants to forfeit the cash to the State after it failed to buy MozzartBet’s argument that it paid the money to acquire some software from Kimaco Connections which it had subcontracted another firm to deliver— Open Skies Management Services.
The dubious company, Kimaco Connections, is owned by one Peter Kiilu who also wired Sh242 million to Open Skies Management Services- a company owned by a fraudulent Zimbabwean Emmanuel Charumbira who also owns shares in Mozzartbet.
ARA says that the source of the dirty money still remains unclear but the wiring of the cash to a web of accounts owned by MozzartBet indicates that the firm was engaged in a laundering scheme.
“That Mr Peter Kiilu did not avail the agreement or contracts he alluded to in his recorded statement between Mozzartbet Kenya Ltd and Kimaco Connections and Kimaco Connections and Open Skies Management Services,” the ARA said.
Deeper scrutiny into the court documents also show that MozzartBet used its pay bill number 290059 to wire more millions through another pay bill number 311372 that belongs to Kimaco Connections.
Mozzart wired Sh256 in five days with trhe highest amount being Sh50 million in a day and Sh1.8 million being the lowest then the funds were transfered to another account at the Co-operative Bank.
Mr Kiilu then transferred Sh150 million from the account at Co-op bank to a fixed deposit account and left a balance of Sh101 million.
The laundering racket led by Mozzart Bet also wired to Pescom and Power Energy in transfers that were marked by intra-accounts trading.
ARA argued that the betting firm and Kimaco Connections resorted to mobile money transfer to circumvent the reporting threshold and Central Bank of Kenya prudential guidelines that would force the account holders to declare the source of the money.
“Preliminary investigations have established that the respondents through its directors, representatives or agents were involved in a complex scheme of money laundering activities involving several entities and companies,” ARA prosecutor Stephen Githinji said.
The funds ended up in the accounts of companies associated with directors and shareholders of MozzartBet Kenya Ltd.
The money laundering scheme is headed by Loncar Koviljka, a Serbian, Zimbabwean Charumbira and former Eldama Ravine Mp Musa Sirma.
The Zimbabwean Charumbira is a director of both MozzartBet Africa and Open Skies Connections that was sub-contracted to supply the software.