Inside Flutterwave Scandal, Is It a Big Fail?
The first case concluded recently. $52.5 million was released after the ARA officially dropped the case. The second case, which involves Flutterwave, Adguru and Hupesi Solutions as respondents is still ongoing. Judge Esther Maina of the High Court has scheduled the court mention, for March 23.
While some speculate that the case might not proceed to a hearing Flutterwave’s ability to obtain a license to operate in Kenya is currently affected by pending court clearance.
When asked about the lawsuit by TechCrunch Flutterwave expressed confidence. Stated, “We believe that the remaining suit is still open due to standard court procedures and we will abide by the outcome of the previous one since we have been cleared of any wrongdoing.”
The fintech company is eager to put this challenge behind them and focus on streamlining payment processes to unlock opportunities, in one of Africa’s most vibrant markets.
What Had Happened So Far?
The court has released the funds belonging to Flutterwave and its co-defendants after the ARA officially withdrew their request, for forfeiture on February 27 effectively concluding the case.
Although the funds have been released it was reported that Flutterwave had not yet accessed them as of Friday while some other parties involved in the case had already done so. The reason behind Flutterwave’s inability to access the funds remains unclear. According to Flutterwave, they are currently going through the processes to gain access to all of their funds.
The release of these funds followed a decision by a court in February that denied an application made by 2,468 Nigerians who were seeking to have a portion of the funds separated in case they were forfeited to the government. These individuals aimed to recover money they had ‘invested’ and lost through a sports betting platform. They alleged that it was an investment and trading scheme that utilized Flutterwave for payment processing.
On February 9 the court dismissed this application citing that in December of the year a month after applying for Boxtrip Travel and Tours and Bagtrip Travels to be removed from the proceedings ARA had withdrawn their request, for forfeiture.
In July of the year, Flutterwave faced difficulties, in Kenya when the ARA accused the fintech company of engaging in activities and money laundering. This resulted in the freezing of amounts of money held in accounts linked to Flutterwave and its co-accused.
According to the ARA Flutterwaves bank accounts were allegedly used for money laundering under the guise of providing services for merchants. The agency claimed that there was evidence to support retail transactions made by customers paying for goods and services. They also pointed out a lack of proof regarding settlements made to supposed merchants. In response, the ARA sought to have the money seized by the government. Initiated proceedings against Flutterwave.
However, there has been a change since a new government took office towards the end of the year. As a result, several high-profile cases, including the one involving Flutterwave have been discontinued.
Flutterwave was established in 2016 by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola (CEO) and Adeleke Adekoya. The company plays a role in facilitating border payments within Africa. It offers remittance services that allow users to send money to and from parts of the continent. Additionally, Flutterwave provides an e-commerce platform called Flutterwave Store specifically designed for businesses—a concept, to Shopify.
Despite experiencing controversies, such, as accusations of harassment mishandling of funds and mismanagement Flutterwave managed to secure an investment of $350 million last year. This funding round boosted the company’s valuation to $3 billion further establishing it as one of Africa’s startup ventures.
In summary Flutterwave has encountered difficulties, in Kenya due to allegations of fraud and money laundering brought forth by the ARA. However, there has been a development as the frozen funds have been released following the withdrawal of the forfeiture request. The recent change in government has led to the discontinuation of some cases against this fintech company. Flutterwave, which plays a role in facilitating border payments within Africa continues to address controversies while maintaining its status as one of the continent’s most valuable startups. Year it successfully raised $350 million at a valuation of $3 billion. Resolving these matters and effectively utilizing the released funds are essential for Flutterwave’s operations and its dedication, to simplifying financial transactions throughout Africa.