Flutterwave Regains Access to $3 Million Following Legal Battle

Published 22 days ago

Kenyan high court has released $3 million in frozen funds to fintech company Flutterwave, concluding a legal dispute that began in 2022. The funds had remained frozen despite a court order to release them in November 2023.

Flutterwave vs. Assets Recovery Agency

In mid-2023, Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) attempted to withdraw money laundering charges against Flutterwave. However, the court denied the request due to the ARA’s inability to provide evidence for halting the proceedings.

The charge was eventually dropped in November 2023, allowing Flutterwave to regain access to the remaining $3 million of its funds. Flutterwave confirmed the withdrawal of the ARA’s suit against them, indicating an end to the examination of Flutterwave Payments Technology Limited Kenya’s bank accounts.

The Initial Allegations

The ARA initially seized over $55 million of Flutterwave’s funds in 2022, following accusations that the funds were proceeds of fraudulent activities and money laundering. The first case was withdrawn in March 2023, after which Flutterwave recovered most of the funds, totaling $52.5 million.

However, the remaining funds were not immediately released, as the ARA opposed the unfreezing at the time. In January 2024, High Court Judge Nixon Sifuna, who was assigned to the case, criticized the ARA for attempting to withdraw a second case.

The ARA acknowledged Flutterwave’s innocence in the case, yet it continued to hold the funds. Judge Sifuna labeled this as an inappropriate litigation facade, an abuse of the court process, and a waste of judicial resources.

Flutterwave’s Next Steps

Now that the funds are back in the possession of the company, Flutterwave is reportedly planning to seek a payments and remittance license in Kenya. Unlike other licensed payment companies, Flutterwave is not legally permitted to collect or settle payments in Kenya. Instead, it has partnerships with local and international companies operating in Kenya, including Uber.

Kenya is one of Flutterwave’s primary markets, along with Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. The company also has strategic offices in Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.