Kenyan banks risk being kicked out of US financial system for SS corruption

East Africa
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[Nairobi, Kenya, TCT] Kenyan companies risk being kicked out of the US financial system due to their links with corruption in South Sudan. This was said by John Prendergast of Enough Project while speaking to Kenyan televison station, NTV, in Nairobi.
In September, Enough Project released a damning report which claimed that South Sudan leaders were taking advantage of the conflict in the country to amass wealth which they stored in foreign countries. It accused Kenyan banks of helping corrupt South Sudanese officials get money out of their country.
The report alleged that top South Sudanese officials connived with the system of international banks, businesses, arms brokers, real estate firms, and lawyers to facilitate their corrupt acts.
Prendergast now says Kenyan banks may have to make difficult choices when it comes to operating in South Sudan. He said that for the last ten years, Kenyan banks have been abetting money laundering by South Sudanese officials.
“One of the biggest concerns…is that the Kenyan banking sector is not undertaking its proper due diligence responsibilities within the broader global anti-money laundering architecture …and if they do not take responsibility, it puts Kenya and Kenya’s banking at risk of something called de-risking, where US banks will stop doing business with Kenyan banks,” he said.
Prendergats warned that “corruption in South Sudan has direct national security implications for Kenya because of the penetration of the Kenyan banking sector”.
Prendergast was in Nairobi as a panelist at the Rift Valley Institute Forum. The theme of the meeting was, ‘Kenya and South Sudan – What Next for the Peace Process?’ Other panelists in the forum included Priscillah Nyagoa Tut from Amnesty International and Peter Biar Ajak.
Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine recently, Prendergast and Brad Brooks-Rubin accused African leaders of stealing from their people and storing their assets in the Western. They are now advocating for tough anti-money-laundering measures to keep those willing to commit genocide or other mass atrocities out of the international financial system. This, they say, will become a game-changer in the fight against genocide.
They say the provision of humanitarian aid to war-torn countries, the naming and shaming of war criminals, peacekeeping, and targeted sanctions are vitally important, but they have not done much to dissuade criminals from abusing human rights.
They say it is now time for anti-money-laundering and asset-recovery measures to be employed in the service of peace and human rights, especially in Africa, where crimes against humanity are the most widespread.
“This is where anti-money-laundering measures could be game changing. They already exist and are being used very effectively in countering terrorism, preventing nuclear proliferation, and fighting organized crime,’ they said.


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