Mozzart bet Kenya country manager, Saša Krneta, has been linked to a multimillion secret money-laundering syndicate that is withholding millions of taxes from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
Highly placed sources also say that Mozzart Kenya is hiding behind “winners privacy” to announce fake winners in its multimillion shillings jackpots.
The firm has also pocketed the officials from the KRA and Betting Control and Licensing Board so as to keep the criminal syndicate off of the government’s radar.
Mozzart bet country manager allegedly runs the betting firm like an underworld movie. He is said to operate secret bank accounts paid from Mozzarbet proceedings hiding under the pretext of offering various services thus legitimate for payments.
The firms, however, offer no services but are used as a conduit of money laundering while the company’s PR team runs around contributing towards community development. The recent public display was a Sh20 million sponsorship of Kakamega-based Home Boyz soccer club.
According to insiders, the betting firm which is also associated with former East African Community cabinet minister Musa Sirma is duping Kenyans by deliberately failing to announce the names of its alleged jackpot winners.
The company recently said it had awarded Sh10 million to a confidential client from Nakuru county in the Mozzartbet Daily Jackpot after the lad correctly predicted the outcome of 13 matches.
Just recently, Mozzarbet made news after the High Court froze over Sh300 million belonging to a businessman who received more than Sh500 million from it in what was flagged as a suspicious case of money laundering.
In his ruling, Justice James Wakiaga ordered the preservation of the funds held at Diamond Trust Bank and Cooperative bank, belonging to Kimaco Connections Ltd and Pescom Kenya Ltd, whose directors are former MP the late Peter Kiilu and Consolata Kiilu. The Central Bank of Kenya is yet to investigate the said institutions on money laundering grounds.
In court hearings, Kimaco Connections is stated to have received Sh576 million from Mozzartbet Kenya and Sh95 million from a software firm, Open Skies, which is owned by a Zimbabwean that is also a shareholder in the betting firm.
Kimaco Connections later wired Sh242 million to the accounts Open Skies Management, in what was termed by authorities as a suspect transaction. Investigations by Assets Recovery Agency showed Mozzartbet received Sh641 million in a period of three months.
Of the amount, Sh384 million was through pay bill number 311372 and the funds were later distributed to several companies, including Open Skies. Further investigations revealed that Emmanuel Charumbira, who owns Open Skies Management, is also a director of Mozzartbet Kenya and Mozzartbet Africa.
The agency said the transactions constitute snuffing and layering of funds in money laundering scheme, to conceal the movement of cash. And despite receiving the amount, Kimaco Connections filed nil returns to evade paying tax. According to court documents, Branimir received Sh12.8 million from Kimaco while Sirma was given Sh17.2 million from Pescon Kenya.
The directors’ bank accounts and M-Pesa pay bill linked to Kiilu and Kimaco Connections were used as conduits of money laundering.
Besides Sirma, other directors of Mozzartbet include Zimbabwean Emmanuel Charumbira, who owns Open Skies Management, Loncar Koviljka, a Serbian, and Melentijevic Branimir.