Things have finally hit a dead end for Kenyan money launderers, corrupt politicians and fraudsters, having heaps of cash running into millions in safe houses across the country.In what seems to be a coordinated onslaught, the UK, Tanzania and Uganda say they have temporarily frozen the exchange of Kenyan Sh. 1000 notes into their currencies, until the government’s October 1st deadline passes.
It has been revealed that Kenyan and British authorities are closely monitoring forex exchange bureaus across the country and abroad to ensure dirty money is not changed into British Pound.British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey says that investigators from his country are closely in contact with their Kenyan counterparts and are working hand in hand to nip in the bud any attempts to change old notes, acquired through money laundering and corruption, with their Sterling pounds.During this year’s Madaraka day, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive to phase out the old Sh 1000 note and by October 1st this year.
“I have spoken with the Treasury. We are keen on those who want to change Kenyan notes into Sterling.We know there might be some cases of stolen money being contributed in fundraisers. You have seen people producing big bundles of cash. It may or may not be stolen but we have to be careful,” said Mr Hailey.
On the other hand,the Bank of Tanzania has frozen exchange of Kenyan bank notes with immediate effect.In a letter addressed to all financial institutions on Friday, the Tanzanian bank regulator said the Central Bank of Kenya had informed it of assurance of new series of banknotes starting May 31.
”With a view to combat illicit financial flows and counterfeits into the Republic of Kenya, the Bank of Tanzania has been advised to freeze CBK Currency Collection Account with immediate effect,’’ reads the memo in part.
This announcement therefore means anyone with old Kenyan notes in the two countries will have to carry them to Kenya to replace them for new ones subject to CBK’s guidelines. It comes as a big blow to money launderers and those with illicit financial flows sneaked in Uganda and Tanzania with the aim of exchanging them into the two countries’ currencies.