Fact-Check: Is Atiku, Kenyan President Elect Involved in $18bn Money Laundering Scandal by INTERPOL?
Claim: Some online media in Nigeria and Kenya have reported that Nigeria’s former vice president and 2023 presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar alongside the Kenyan President-elect, William Samoei Arap Ruto have been unmasked in a Sh25billion (N18billion) global money-laundering probe by INTERPOL.
Full Text: According to reports making the rounds, the PDP’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Kenyan President-elect, Mr. William Samoei Arap Ruto have been named in a N18 billion ( Sh25billion) global money-laundering probe by INTERPOL.
“Now, Interpol’s investigation has revealed how the billions were moved into Kenya from Nigeria between October and November 2020 in a suspected racket in which four other Nigerians were named.
“One of the Nigerians, identified as Alexander Ezenago, is a banker, and lecturer based in Dubai where Atiku presently resides.
“Mr Ruto has served as Deputy President alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta under the Jubilee Alliance ticket which produced them in the 2013 presidential election.”
The International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as INTERPOL, is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control.
Headquartered in Lyon, France INTERPOL enables police in about 194 member countries to work together to fight international crime. To do this, they enable them to share and access data on crimes and criminals and offer a range of technical and operational support.
To verify this claim, PRNigeria surfed the official website of INTERPOL, browsed its news menu which contains the “latest news and events” from INTERPOL’s “global activities,” and used the website’s search bar to run keyword searches of the claim but there was no result to substantiate the allegation.
The latest news update on the website include those of 20th July 2022 on INTERPOL’s global clampdown on illicit medicines; 29th July 2022 on its coordinated efforts in tackling human trafficking; 4th August 2022 on its pollution crime report and 10th August 2022 which highlits its global campaign to expose money mules. There was nothing on it about an N18billion money laundering expose.
Similarly, INTERPOL’s official Twitter account which constantly posts “latest news from the international police organization,” has no such thing about an N18billion money laundering expose.
Further investigation by PRNigeria revealed that the real story dates back to April 2022 when a Kenyan platform reported “Three Kenyan Companies, Politician’s Sister Under Probe In Alleged Ksh.25B Money Laundering Syndicate.”
It reported that the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) and detectives drawn from the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit are probing what is suspected to be a multibillion shilling money laundering syndicate involving three companies and directors from Kenya and Nigeria.
It further revealed that more than Ksh.25 billion has passed through the three accounts, with the asset recovery body freezing Ksh.2.5 billion of the funds suspected to have been acquired through fraud from the United Arab Emirates, the U.S and several European countries.
Directors in question include two Kenyans, one of them described as relative of a female Nairobi politician; two Nigerians have also been questioned by ARA.
No mention was made of the Kenya President-Elect Ruto or former Vice President Atiku.
Conclusion: claim that Nigeria’s former vice president and 2023 presidential candidate of the People Democratic, Atiku Abubakar alongside the Kenyan President-elect, William Samoei Arap Ruto have been unmasked in a Sh25billion (N18billion) global money-laundering probe by INTERPOL is FALSE.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com