In April, the Kenyan High Court declared that Sh302 million, about $2.6 million, was acquired illegally by MozzartBet. The funds were subsequently confiscated and handed over to the state. Since then, the Kenyan betting company has been in the thick of a heavy court battle, attempting to get the money back. MozzartBet is only one of many betting sites in Kenya that had problem in the last years.
Money for Software Upgrade
According to the betting company’s own claims, the large sum was meant to pay for a software upgrade for the company. Justice Esther Maina of the Kenyan High Court, however, ruled the funds as a part of a money-laundering scheme via M-Pesa. She further ordered the full amount to be immediately seized and handed over to the government.
The ARA, Assets Recovery Agency, reported that up to Sh256 million of the funds were moved over five days. Moreover, the source of the funds, which were not generated by legal gambling, was also not made clear. This caused the agency to have no choice but to flag the transactions as suspicious. Following this, they then launched a petition to have the transaction investigated.
MozzartBet has since made an appeal to oppose the petition and court ruling. Their application for an appeal claims they were falsely flagged for a legitimate transaction. It also states fears of irreversible damage to the company and its reputation. They have since revealed the company they intended to buy the software upgrade from, Kimaco Connections, owned by Peter Kiilu. Kiilu claims to have then sub-contracted another firm, called Open Skies Connections, to deliver the product.
The ARA, however, has thus far rejected MozzartBet and Kiilu’s explanation. Adding to their suspicion is fact that the owner of Open Skies Connections, a Zimbabwean by the name of Emmanuel Charumbira, is apparently also a shareholder of MozzartBet.