Three Nigerians are accused of using money laundering proceeds to purchase Bitcoin worth more than $43 million from cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as Binance and Busha.
According to a report, Interpol is attempting to close a case in which three Nigerian nationals are suspected of using money laundering proceeds to purchase Bitcoins worth more than $43 million. Three Kenyans, including an unnamed powerful Kenyan politician, are accused of assisting the Nigerian trio in their efforts to conceal the true reason for the transfer of funds.
According to a report in the Kenyan newspaper the Nation, an Interpol investigation discovered that the trio may have transferred more than $215 million (25 billion Kenyan shillings) from Nigeria to Kenya between October and November 2020.
When the funds arrived in Kenya, Olubunmi Akinyemiju, Olufemi Olukunmi Demuren, and Eghosasere Nehikhare went on a bitcoin buying spree. During this buying spree, the trio is said to have purchased Bitcoins worth $36,353,728 from Binance’s U.S.-registered branch, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by traded volumes. Another $7,246,582 was spent on Bitcoin purchases on Busha, another cryptocurrency exchange.
Authorities Freeze Six Accounts
The trio is believed to have distributed the Bitcoins to individual wallets after acquiring them in an attempt to make them untraceable, according to the report. Nonetheless, the Kenyan publication stated that it was unable to determine the exact number of Bitcoins purchased by the Nigerian trio on the Kenyan crypto exchanges Bitpesa and Quidax.
According to the report, the Nigerian trio successfully transferred funds under the guise of “same company fund transfers.” However, the magnitude of the funds transfers eventually piqued Interpol’s interest.
Following the Interpol investigation, Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is said to have obtained a court order authorizing the freezing of six bank accounts belonging to six companies linked to the alleged money launderers.
Meanwhile, according to the Nation report, Pauline Wanjiru Wachira and Evalyne Wawira Gachoki are two Kenyan citizens who may have assisted the Nigerian trio in moving the laundered funds.