Kenya Bankers Association says it will continue to support the government in fight against money laundering, as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions recommends for prosecution against five banks, officials, individuals, and entities for benefiting “from proceeds of crime”.
In response to the ongoing investigations on bank transactions revolving on the National Youth Service saga, the KBA says that “the banking industry is the most regulated and as such banks must comply with numerous laws and industry regulations.”
These requirements include the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Risk Management and Prudential Guidelines, and Kenya’s Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA), 2009.
Standard Chartered Bank received Ksh1.6 billion between January 2016 and April 2018, out of which Ksh588,558,000 was transacted suspiciously by bank officials and no report was made to the Financial Reporting Centre as is required by POCAMLA regulations.
Investigations revealed that Kenya Commercial Bank received Ksh800 million during the same period, upon which bank officials transacted 148,397,000 without following POCAMLA regulations.
An Equity Bank official transacted Ksh264,200,000 and $58,000 during the same period, flouting the law. Total received amount at the time was Ksh886 million. Also, Diamond Trust bank was also identified for receiving Ksh164 million, out of which Ksh27,946,298 was suspiciously transacted by official of the bank in violation of the law.
Lastly, Cooperative Bank of Kenya was identified to have received Ksh250 million during the investigation period, out of which Ksh25 million was suspiciously transacted through the bank in violation of the law.
Noordin Haji, Director ODPP, says he has forwarded the investigation files relating to the commercial banks with a recommendation that charges should be preferred against them.
“I have constituted a team of Senior Prosecutors to independently review the respective investigation files and make recommendations within 14 days,” he said.
KBA says it will continue to collaborate with the CBK, other industry regulators, and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on efforts aimed at facilitating a secure, robust and professional financial services industry.
“We call on bank customers and all banking professionals to support this industry commitment as we seek to serve the banking public in a secure manner, adhering to regulatory guidelines,” said KBA in a statement.