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US flags Kenya for relaxing dirty cash reporting rule

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By Olivia Mungwana.

Kenyan officials in charge of money-laundering investigations are informing account holders of questionable activities to shift their assets before searches, thwarting the campaign against money-laundering.

According to a new US research on global money-laundering hotspots, Kenya looks to have taken a step back in the combat after raising the bar for reporting money transfers above Sh1 million last year.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) ordered commercial banks to document and disclose all transactions exceeding Sh1 million (about $10,000) before 2021.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, on the other hand, directed the reporting requirement to be lifted in October 2021. He mentioned that a greater cash transaction limit, 000), would be beneficial “will facilitate easy transactions for micro, small and medium enterprises and help the economy respond to Covid shocks”.

Kenya has no person reporting requirements for big cash transactions, according to the US State Department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), which was issued this week. However, banks must report to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC).

“Kenya’s proximity to Somalia makes it an attractive destination for funds from unregulated Somali sectors, including the khat and charcoal trades,” the report notes.

 

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