M-Pesa agents linked to terrorism financing cleared

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 3 Sep, 2020 15:13 | 2 mins read
Eastleigh
Nairobi's Eastleigh suburb. PHOTO | COURTESY
Nairobi's Eastleigh suburb. PHOTO | COURTESY

Police have cleared three M-Pesa agents, all based in Eastleigh, who had earlier been linked to terrorism financing.

The agents had in March this year, together with nine suspects, been listed as ‘special entities’ by the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.

A ‘special entity’, according to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), is a person or organisation suspected to have committed, attempted to, or prepared to commit a terrorist act.

The National Police Service Director of Communication Charles Owino on Thursday said the fact that they were not listed on Wednesday was an indication that they had been cleared.

“The Inspector-General set up a team that listened to their side of the story and I believe they were convinced. It was after the sessions that the other names were sent to the Cabinet Secretary for further action,” Owino said.

Mohammed Farah, the director of one of the agents identified as Climbing Star on Thursday told the People Daily that they appeared before the Committee and defended themselves before they were cleared.

“We were informed on Wednesday that we had been cleared by the committee. We are now free to engage in business,” he said.

Mutyambai had placed a notice in the dailies where the agent, together with three other companies and nine individuals, were listed as entities involved in terrorism.

The suspects are Hamal Adan Ali, Waled Ahmed Zein, Sheikh Guyo Gorsa Boru, Mohammed Abdi Ali aka Abu Fidaa, Nuseiba Mohammed Haji, Abdimajit Adan Hassan, Mohammed Ali Abdi, Muktar Ibrahim Ali, and Mire Abdullahi Elmi.

The Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday directed that the funds and properties of the nine suspects be frozen following their links to terrorism financing.

Under Section 3 of the POTA, the IG is expected to notify the entities of his intention to recommend to the Cabinet Secretary Interior that an order has been made declaring each of the entities named therein a Specified Entity.

However, the law requires that the entities and the suspects be afforded reasonable opportunity to defend themselves before a decision is made.

The government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to fighting terror by reorienting the country’s counterterrorism policy that now incorporates preventive and socio-economic interventions into the existing security and military operations.

Matiangi on Wednesday said the security agencies will continue disrupting terrorist operations and purpose on bringing the perpetrators, financiers and sponsors to book.