Kenya Shuts Down Somali Remittance Firms, Freezes Accounts

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kenya has suspended the licences of 13 Somali remittance firms following the massacre at a Kenyan university last week, Somalia’s central bank governor said on Wednesday, and Kenyan media reported that dozens of bank accounts had been frozen.

The killing of 148 students by Somalia’s al Shabaab at Garissa, some 200 km (120 miles) from the border, has piled pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to deal with the Islamists who have killed more than 400 people in Kenya in the last two years.

Kenya’s biggest selling Daily Nation newspaper said on Wednesday that the government has “frozen the accounts of 86 individuals and entities suspected to be financing terrorism in the country”, including Somali remittance firms.

Somalia’s central bank governor Bashir Issa Ali told Reuters that 13 Somali money transfer firms have been officially notified by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) about the closure of accounts. He said the move would have a devastating impact Kenya’s Somali community, numbering just over one million people.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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banking, remittances