Merc De Mesel: Whose interests is the Belgium money launderer serving?
For the third time in a span of three months, the High Court has frozen another two bank accounts holding Sh50 million sent to a woman by a Belgium national, Merc De Mesel (pictured above) who is suspected to be part of global money laundering scheme.
This brings the total amount frozen so far to more than Sh260 million, sent to three Kenyan women.
Merc De Mesel first hit the headlines when he deposited Sh102 million in the account of Felesta Njoroge, a 21-year-old student.
Days later the Belgium national deposited millions of shillings to accounts of another Kenyan woman identified as Tebby Wambuku Kago.
The third woman, Jane Wangui Kago had millions of shillings wired to her accounts by the Belgium national.
There are suspicions Tebby Kago and Jane Kago could be related, either as sisters.
For Tebby, she found herself in trouble with the authorities after a discovery that her two Equity Bank accounts opened on February 22, 2021, held Sh71 million and Sh37 million deposited by Merc De Mesel in a span of four days between August 6 and August 10.
Mesel also made deposits of Sh25,242,756 and Sh25,579,356 in Felista’s account on the same dates.
Felista, who got the news when she was out of the country resorted to fighting for her money in the courts.
She is said to Mesel’s girlfriend and is now pregnant.
And now the High Court has frozen two accounts at Equity bank belonging to the third woman, Jane Wangui Kago.
One of the accounts held Sh3,11,800 and another had Euros 355,990.13 (equivalent Sh 45,566,720).
“A preservation Order be and is hereby issued prohibiting the Respondents, her/his employees, agents, servants or any other person acting on their behalf from transacting, withdrawing, transacting, withdrawing, transferring, or dealing in any manner howsoever in respect of any profits or benefits derived or accrued from the funds specified”, ordered Justice Grace Nzioka.
Justice Nzioka prohibited Wangui from withdrawing the money, pending the determination of a case filed by Assets Recovery Agency.
With the large deposits, Merc De Mesel has become a household name in Kenya.
But the Belgium national claims he made his money in the cryptocurrency and investments world having amassed a wealth of monumental magnitude.
He claims he has been a bitcoin billionaire for years having started trading in the virtual currency in 2008.
In a video shared on social media, Mesel explained that he gifted his 21-year-old Kenyan girlfriend S102 million after following the right procedures which include filling paperwork with the bank.
But after the money hit his girlfriend's accounts, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) raided their home and apprehended them, accusing him of funding unlawful activities.
But the Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) avers in court that the Belgium national is part of a syndicate involved in a complex money laundering scheme and he is the kingpin.
According to ARA, the Belgium national had been using the Kenyan women to launder money.
ARA says Kago executed a complex scheme of money laundering designed to conceal, disguise the nature, source, deposition and movement of illicit funds suspected to constitute proceeds of crime.
“There are reasonable grounds and evidence demonstrating that the funds held by the respondent in the specified bank accounts are direct or indirect benefits, profits or proceeds of crime obtained from a complex money laundering scheme and liable to be forfeited to the State,” ARA added.
According to court documents, the Agency received information into a suspected case of complex money laundering schemes, and proceeds of crime involving multiple money transactions of approximately Euro 355,990.13 and Sh. 3,111,800 from foreign jurisdiction whose source could not legitimately be established involving Wangui.
But there are fears in Kenya that the Belgium national could be a front of a corrupt politician keen to wire money to Kenya for his campaigns.
Thingira.org will keep you updated