Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge has said that guidelines governing money transactions may have been ignored by banks as the Kshs 9 billion NYS scandal deepens. Leaders have come out and accused banks of being complacent and allowing illicit, suspicious transactions and laundering to take place, with the huge amounts of cash being paid out under their watch.
While addressing the press on Tuesday, the CBK Governor said its alarming that such loss of public funds would take place at this moment, but was quick to point out that all banks know the guidelines and rules governing Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), which is among the precepts under the microscope in the daily deepening scandal. “The guidelines are there, the issues maybe that people are not following the guidelines. How else could one make mistakes they are aware of?” he posed.
He said banks are provided with guidelines on what they should do including guidance on suspicious transaction reports. Njoroge noted that things such as large frequent unusual transactions should be keenly checked, and in cases where there is reluctance to provide the required documentation. “Over the last two or three years we have strengthened some requirements under AML/CFT, and it’s evident that some have discovered they have to go through various stages when moving one million Kenya shillings,” he said, adding that the CEOs and boards understand the set rules.
Furthermore, he revealed that CBK is working closely with the DPP, DCI and other investigative agencies to get to the bottom of the NYS scandal, and that even the banks involved will face the penalties, “All those involved will be held accountable, no doubt,” said the CBK Governor.