A Kenyan sports betting company, SportPesa, is currently the subject of a scrutinous probe by the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC), Kenya’s agency in charge of monitoring illicit money flows.
The investigation follows claims that SportPesa recently transferred the whooping sum of Sh30 billion (about $278 million) from its Kenyan bank accounts to some foreign bank accounts. In view of this claim, FRC’s investigation shall seek to understand whether SportPesa declared all the billions it recently earned from its business activities to the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB).
“The matter is of public interest, and we will investigate to establish if there was criminality in the movement of the billions offshore. We emphasise that moving money offshore is not an illegality, our mandate is to establish if there were breaches in regards to cash movement,” Business Daily Africa quoted the Director-General of FRC, Saitoti Maika, to have said.
Business Elites Africa understands that the billions of shillings were transferred to bank accounts in Dubai, Isle of Man, and the Canary Islands, all of them being notorious tax havens. And now, the FRC will also be seeking to understand whether SportPesa paid taxes on the funds prior to the transfer.
It should be noted that SportPesa was co-founded by mainly Bulgarian investors in 2014. But recently, there has been a silent but tumultuous infighting among foreign and local investors. Just last month, Asenath Maina and Paul Wanderi Ndun’u, two Kenyan entrepreneurs who own a combined 38% stake in SportPesa’s holding company (Pavens East Africa Ltd), both raised alarm over the Sh30 billion transfer to offshore accounts.
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