Nairobi Milimani Court Magistrate has frozen the bank accounts of two air charter services companies associated with contraversial businessman Chris Obure over allegations of money laundering and Fraud damaging its international reputation.
The no Non-sence Chief Magistrate Eunice Nyutu allowed the application by Assets Recovery Agency to probe the accounts of Cullinan Private Jet Corp and GLO-Jet International after multiple links with money laundering and fraud claims emerged.
ARA was allowed to investigate the account at I&M and Eco banks for three weeks over claims of illegal bank transactions amounting to Sh18.9 million without authority.
In a bombshell, the court also allowed the police to investigate the bank account of Ajeetkumar C Shah held at I&M bank.
“The holders of the bank accounts in question are being investigated for the offences of money laundering contrary to section 3 as read with section 16 of proceeds of Crime and Money launder Act, ” the investigating officer informed the court.
Nyutu directed the aircraft owner and Shah to supply the investigators with all relevant documents on the accounts including the account opening documents, statement of cash flow since it was opened to date, cheques and cash deposits and withdrawals slips, and RTGS/ SWIT transfers or any other documents, which may assist in the ongoing probe.
ARA through an investigator Alfred Musalia submitted that the agency received intelligence reports that the holders of the bank accounts had transacted funds suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Aggrieved by the court orders, the companies through lawyer Cynthia Ogema have filed an application seeking to set aside the freeze order, saying they were obtained irregularly thereby crippling his business.
“The ex-parte orders issued herein have negatively affected their business, thereby forcing the international board of directors to call for an urgent meeting at Fort Lauderdale, Broward county, Miami, United States of America,” the lawyer said.
According to Ogema, the two air airlines are highly revered conglomerates with strong international links and of good reputation and standing in the international community
She said the airlines provide private cargo and passenger air charter services, as well as property investment under the Meriton Brand which is a Multi-billion US Dollar Australian company that was established in 1963.
Further, Ogema claims that the court orders have sparked discussion seeking approval to immediately shut the operations of the two air companies in Kenya and relocate the same to Johannesburg, South Africa- a move that will cost the country revenue and loss of jobs.
In an affidavit filed in court by GLO- Jet International limited CEO Geoffrey Somoni Birundu wants the orders vacated claiming that the company is providing exclusive private air charter services to niche and affluent foreign and local clients.
The Company in Kenya is a subsidiary of GLO- Jet International limited, which is based in Orlando Florida in the USA and which constitutes a large network of global conglomerates operating in at least 47 countries across the world.
He adds that the company is in the business of providing exclusive private air charters services to niche and affluent foreign and local clients.
“As part of its infrastructure to providing these services, Glo-jet International ltd is housed at the upmarket Meriton Senteu Plaza located along Galana/Lenana road which hosts their offices, a fleet of luxury cars and a memorandum of understanding with Penial Air to supply luxury aircraft for the company,” says the CEO.
She added that the company is moving huge business with a turnover of billions of dollars annually.
The local branch of the multi-national company which is based at the up market Meriton Senteu Plaza located along Galana lenana road in Nairobi hosts offices, A fleet of luxury cars and a signed memorandum of understanding with Penial Air to supply luxury aircrafts for it’s clients.
ARA might go after the assets as while. In most cases, the agency files a preservation application in the High Court after obtaining orders to freeze accounts or assets before Magistrate Court.
The CEO further states that sometimes in the year 2021, Glo-jet International ltd opened a Kenya shilling and US Dollar accounts with Eco-Bank on the implied and express understanding that the company would comply with all relevant laws relating to the operation and management of a bank account and Eco-Bank would allow us accounting access to manage the account.
The company claims they have managed and or operated the said accounts to receive money from our holding company in the United States, payments from clients and also to make payments and/or transfers for staff salaries, service providers, payment of goods, per diem for air Pilots and Crew and to pay critical utility bills.
The documents further states that on 14th August, 2023, we issued an invoice for the sum of US Dollars 55, 632.04 to one of our business partners and customers, Cullinan Private Jet Corp, to intended 3rd Respondent herein for air charter services that we provided to their client