Police in Kenya have arrested six people in connection with the seizure of counterfeit notes worth more than $20 million.
The fake banknotes were found in a personal safety deposit box of a Barclays Bank branch in the capital Nairobi, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Tuesday. “Six people were arrested… by DCI detectives in connection with fake currency amounting to slightly over $20 million at Barclays Kenya Queensway Branch,” the statement read.
“The fake notes in $100 denominations were recovered from the bank’s safe room.” Those arrested include two bank officials, DCI said, adding that a person who would have been defrauded by the suspects was cooperating with the police in the investigation.
Barclays Kenya confirmed on Tuesday that the police arrested a customer who had kept counterfeit dollar notes in a safety deposit box at the branch. The bank, a subsidiary of the South African Absa Group, said the money was not part of its deposit, and the contents of the safe deposit box were only known to the owner, adding that it was working with the police in the investigation.
“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,” Barclays Kenya said in a statement.
The currency seizure comes as lawmakers in the country push for the implementation of a policy that removes strict banking laws mandating financial institutions to record transactions above $10,000. Kenya’s apex bank chief Patrick Njoroge opposed the amendment saying it could derail the fight against corruption and money laundering in the country. A case challenging the implementation of the amendments is due to be heard in Kenya’s High Court on March 29.