Kenya court rules $730,000 gift can be confiscated

(BBC) A court in Kenya has ruled that a cash gift of about $738,000 (£599,000) sent to 23-year-old student Felista Nyamathira Njoroge by her Belgian boyfriend can be confiscated by the government.

The money was sent to her in 2021 by Marc De Mesel, a YouTube cryptocurrency enthusiast from Belgium.

However the large sum raised suspicion with authorities and Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency.

In December 2021, they ordered the freezing of the funds – and said they would only be released if the source of the money could be explained.

While Ms Njoroge alleges the money was acquired legitimately “through business and personal relationships”, in court the judge ruled that the source of the money had not been explained.

Esther Maina said it was likely that Ms Njoroge and Mr De Mesel were involved in a money-laundering scheme.

The money will now be given to the state.

Mr De Mesel had also come under scrutiny for transferring large amounts of money to several other women in Kenya.

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