Kenyan Police Seize More Than $20 Million In Counterfeit Money, Arrest 6

(TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Graeme Gallagher Contributor
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Kenyan police and detectives seized a personal safety deposit box containing more than $20 million in counterfeit money Tuesday, according to CNN.

Made up of fake $100 dollar bills, the deposit box was reportedly found at a Barclays Bank branch in Nairobi, the nation’s capital.

“Six people were arrested … by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency amounting slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” said Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in a statement on Twitter. (RELATED: First Lady Melania Trump Visits Children In Nairobi, Kenya)

Among those arrested was the owner of the deposit box, Erick Adede, and two bank officials, Boaz Ochich and Charles Manzi.  A person who would have been defrauded by the suspects was already collaborating with the investigation, added the DCI.

Additionally, the bank, which is a subsidiary of the South African Absa Group, said they were working with police in the investigation and that the contents of the deposit box were only known to the owner. The bank also said the money was not part of its deposit and it went “against the bank’s rules and regulations.” (RELATED: Conservative Under Consideration For World Bank President)

“The customer had concealed fake currency in his personal safe deposit box against the bank’s rules and regulations which include restrictions of items which can be held in the safe deposit box,” said Barclays Bank Kenya in a statement.

The large seizure of funds transpires as lawmakers in the east African country are pushing for a policy that removes current strict banking laws requiring financial institutions to “declare the source, purpose and beneficiaries” when moving transactions more than $10,000.

However, Patrick Njoroge, the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), believes that the new law would put Kenya in danger of being “blacklisted” by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The task force, of which Kenya is a member, is an intergovernmental body that sets standards to promote legal and operational measures against money laundering and corruption. (RELATED: Who’s Paying For This $5 Billion Nuclear Plant In Kenya?)

“Kenya’s banking sector will be blacklisted internationally and the country will most likely be blacklisted by the FATF,” said Njoroge while in front of the finance committee in February.

“The adverse effects of the amendment on the banking sector, would be immediate termination of relationships by foreign correspondent banks and closure of accounts of Kenyan banks,” insisted the CBK governor while in front of the finance committee in February.