Latest report by the Sentry places Kenya at the center of an illicit flow of billions of blood money from the war-ravaged South Sudan, into the country.
Labeled the Kenya Illicit Finance Risks and Assessment, the report details how rebels and known politicians in South Sudan not only acquired luxury properties in Kenya but also set up joint business ventures with their partners in the country using local banks to transfer their cash.
The Sentry is a US investigative and policy organization that follows dirty money linked to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers and aims to shut them out of the international financial system.
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”The Sentry has obtained documents indicating that millions of dollars in questionable payments linked to top South Sudanese officials have transited through Kenyan banks,” the report reads in part.
For example, family of a known South Sudanese general has been fingered of wiring more than 1.5 million dollars into Kenya, from his country to invest. The general is currently under radar of the US and has been heavily sanctioned by Washington due to his involvement in mass violence.
“In one instance, a South Sudanese Politically Exposed Person (PEP) purchased a luxury home using a US dollar denominated account held at the Ugandan branch of the Kenyan bank. This occurred during a period of intense fighting involving a non-state militia that was funded and supported by the PEP’s office,” it continues.
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Sentry’s report also identifies Kenya as the largest foreign investor in the South Sudanese banking sector.
”South Sudan heavily relied upon Kenya for financial services during the war and this close relationship has continued with Kenya acting as a significant export partner to South Sudan,” the report states.