Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i has been prohibited from freezing betting accounts that remain unused for three consecutive months.

The National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture, and Tourism, rejected the proposal stating that seizing of the accounts is the function of the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA).

UFAA’s primary mandate is to obtain unclaimed financial assets from holders of such assets on behalf of the Government. 

Parliament rejected amendments to the Betting Bill to have the Ministry of Interior freeze the accounts and struck out a clause that requires gamblers to show proof of the source of large amounts of money before being granted access to the cash.

The bill was floated amid money-laundering fears where criminals deposit illicit money in a betting account and bet a small share before withdrawing the money.

The proposed law would have seen gamblers lose cash in the frozen accounts if they failed to lodge claims with UFAA within three months.

To access the cash in the betting account, gamblers would be required to seek approval from UFAA including to reactivate their account.

Back in 2019, the government ordered betting firms to report all the transactions made above Ksh1 Million shillings to the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to help reduce money laundering.

Betting firms were required to report accounts that exhibit suspicious transaction activities especially over a short period of time.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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