ABUJA, July 7 (Reuters) – A court in Kenya has frozen more than $40 million in accounts belonging to Africa-focused payments giant Flutterwave under the country’s anti-money laundering laws, court documents showed.
Founded in 2016 in Nigeria, the San Francisco-headquartered firm specializes in individual and consumer transfers, one of several fintech firms facilitating and capitalizing on Africa’s booming payments market.
Earlier this year, the firm raised $250 million, valuing the startup at more than $3 billion.
Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency sought and was granted a High Court order to freeze several accounts with three banks belonging to Kenyan-registered Flutterwave Payment Technology Ltd.
Flutterwave confirmed to Reuters it owned the company.
It said in a separate statement that claims of financial impropriety in Kenya were “entirely false”.
The court order, which is dated July 1, stops Flutterwave from any transactions from more than a dozen accounts with three banks, which held $43 million in dollars, sterling, euro, and Kenyan shillings.
“These orders shall subsist for a period of 90 days as provided in section 84 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act,” Judge Esther Maina said in a ruling pending a full hearing and final order at a later date.
Flutterwave said its operations were regularly audited and it continuously engaged regulatory agencies to stay compliant.