Payments firm Flutterwave has been battling bad news for the better half of 2022.
In April, a detailed story revealed that the company, which has since achieved unicorn status and is Africa’s leading tech payments firm in terms of valuation at more than USD 3 billion, reported that Flutterwave was involved in criminal activities, including cases of sexual harassment, insider trading, and duping their top managers out of their share of the company.
Flutterwave then denied these allegations, and while there was pressure to see its CEO Olugbenga Agboola resign, it never happened. However, the company did make some changes: it announced the appointment of Oneal Bhambani as its new Chief Financial Officer. It also appointed Gurbhej Dhillon as its new CTO.
Yesterday, Kenya’s The Star dropped a damning story about Flutterwave’s activities in Kenya. In short, the report highlighted that the company was partaking in money laundering cases, such as moving large sums of cash among its top managers. The sums were to be paid as merchant payments, but there was no evidence that Flutterwave did that.
It has also been mentioned that Flutterwave has been conducting operations in Kenya without proper documentation and approval from relevant authorities.
To this end, and according to court papers, Kenya authorities froze billions of shillings (KES 6.2 billion) in tens of bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave.
As expected, Flutterwave has denied these allegations, stating that the report rounded up by the Star, is false.
Here is a full statement from the company:
Claims of financial improprieties involving the company in Kenya are entirely false, and we have the records to verify this.
We are a financial technology company that maintains the highest regulatory standards in our operations. Our Anti-money laundering (AML) practices and operations are regularly audited by one of the Big four firms. We remain proactive in our engagements with regulatory bodies to continue to stay compliant.
Through our financial institution partners, we collect and pay on behalf of merchants and corporate entities. In the process, we earn our fees through a transaction charge, records of which are available and can be verified. As a business, we hold corporate funds to support our operations and provide services to all our customers.
By facilitating payments for the biggest organizations in the world and everyday businesses, we process significantly large volumes of money and contribute to growing the economy in Kenya, and the rest of Africa.
Flutterwave has a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the ecosystem, and we pledge our commitment to continue working with all stakeholders to uphold this. We are working to ascertain the motive behind the false claims, and have the records straightened.