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Nigerian arrested at JKIA with Ksh100m stashed in a bag

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A Nigerian national has been arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, with Ksh100 million in cash.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) yesterday filed a case in court seeking orders to freeze the cash. The money seized from Mauzu Balaa last Friday is in three denominations: US dollars (880,000), Euros (60,000) and Naira (63,000).

Mr Balaa was headed for Dubai. “His failure to declare that he was carrying such a huge amount or documents to support the legitimacy of the cash, raises suspicion of money laundering,” says ARA.

No Supporting Documents

In court documents, Mr Balaa said the cash was for conducting business in Dubai. However, he did not have any supporting documents on the nature of the said business, or authorization to move large amounts of cash.

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The court heard that the money, stashed in a carry-on bag, is in the custody of Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka. ARA wants to take it over on suspicion that it could be proceeds of crime and/or money laundering.

At most international airports, one must declare currency of over $10,000 (about Ksh1 million). While having large amounts of cash is technically not illegal, failure to declare it can lead to forfeiture.

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