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
“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.