How Stanbic Bank in Nairobi Assisted South Sudanese Nationals to Launder Huge Amounts of Money

Stanbic Bank Kenya

Financial crimes in Kenya’s banking sector have caused the downfall of several banks before and even as recently as in 2018; five banks were fined a total of Ksh. 385 for violating the anti-money laundering laws in relation to the NYS saga

Stanbic Bank Kenya, One of Kenya’s top tier commercial banks is currently faced with a huge financial scandal which the management attempted to hide from the regulator will little success, until recently when the fictitious transaction was unearthed by the detectives. 

The bank is currently facing money laundering charges from Kenyan authorities. The Key players are an international ring of suspicious fraudsters from South Sudan and Kenya. The suspected fraudsters operated under a company which had been registered by a Nairobi-based lawyer known to carry out the massive financial scandal. The company, Transcorps International Ltd operates two separate bank accounts with Stanbic in Juba and Nairobi. The four directors, John Woui Woui, Dheng Adhar, Truralel Yai, and Damascus Gadhaffi Okello wired a total of $11,547,179.99 from an account in Juba to their account at Stanbic bank in Nairobi A/C No. 31000021899** Nairobi Moi Avenue branch but failed to explain to Kenyan authorities what the money was for.

Transcorps International Ltd statement of account from Stanbic Bank Kenya

Financial crimes in Kenya’s banking sector have caused the downfall of several banks before and even as recently as in 2018; five banks were fined a total of Ksh. 385 for violating the anti-money laundering laws. The fines relate to the theft of nearly a billion shillings stolen from the National Youth Service (NYS), and dozens of senior government officials and business people were charged in court. The five banks include KCB Group, Equity, StanChart Kenya and Diamond Trust.

The Weekly Vision Investigations established that the transaction took place between April 1st 2016 to May 2016, and when the Financial Reporting Centre got wind of the fraudulent transaction, they flagged the account

The case at Stanbic Bank is turning out to be a massive cover-up that was perpetuated by top managers at the bank in Nairobi in collusion with the South Sudanese operatives, the managers are said to have been compromised by the foreigners soon after the matter leaked out to Kenya’s Financial Reporting Centre. The managers at Stanbic bank Moi Avenue branch conspired with the suspected fraudsters to wire the money to an Asian country despite the fact the account had already been flagged by the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC).

The Weekly Vision Investigations established that the transaction took place between April 1st 2016 to May 2016, and when the Financial Reporting Centre got wind of the fraudulent transaction, they flagged the account, which meant that no transition would take place on the account, in other words, the account was supposed to have remained frozen. The illegal transaction took place in contravention of the laws and regulations meant to instill discipline in the financial sector.

The Weekly Vision reached out to the bank and in their response, one Catherine Ngina had this to say:  “Stanbic Bank has a long history of partnership with the Government of South Sudan and is committed to the growth of the South Sudan economy through employment, unlocking trade opportunities, capacity building for key government agencies, and critically, through banking key sectors, including the oil and gas sector and the development sector.”

Catherine Ngina avoided answering our specific questions on money laundering. She went on to add: “Stanbic Bank South Sudan’s operation as a Branch of Stanbic Bank Kenya is within the Bank of South Sudan licensing requirements. We continue to enjoy a strong and cordial working relationship with the Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) and the Government. We are, however, not in a position to comment on the suit mentioned as this is an ongoing matter in court relating to a case initiated by a third party’’. It remains to be seen what kind of action the CBK will eventually take against Stanbic bank.

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