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Flutterwave Clears its Name in Kenya

CEO of Nigerian payments company Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, arrived in Nairobi this week intending to unfreeze $60 million and lift the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) embargo on the firm. Over the course of just one year, the startup’s operations in Kenya – its second-largest market after Nigeria – have come to a halt, with the High Court freezing the aforementioned amount due to money laundering concerns and the CBK ordering banks to sever ties with the company. Agboola landed in Nairobi to meet with the local team and request an audience with the CBK, which asked the firm to apply for a new operating license in December. The CBK had previously ordered local banks to stop conducting business with Flutterwave in July, citing the company’s lack of licensing and its accounts being frozen under anti-money laundering laws. Agboola’s visit coincided with the High Court’s verdict, which dismissed an application from over 2,000 Nigerians seeking a share of the frozen Sh6.6 billion on Thursday. The dismissal of the suit marked another victory for Flutterwave after Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) in December withdrew from the case in which it secured orders freezing the billions in 29 accounts at GTB, Equity and Ecobank denominated in Kenya shillings, US dollars, euros and Sterling pounds.