MozzartBet’s attempt to gag blogger Cyprian Nyakundi backfires

by Wakili Liam
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MozzartBet shop

Betting firm MozzartBet has tried to gag blogger Cyprian Nyakundi, has learnt.

Through our sources, the firm wrote to advertisers on the blogger’s website to stop advertising with him due to an article that exposed alleged money laundering by the firm.

The article titled, ‘Gaming site money laundering scheme exposed’, alleges that the betting firm MozzartBet Kenya is under the radar of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Directrorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)’s Serious Economic Crime and National Intelligence Services (NIS) for aiding the movement of illicit finances in the country.

The article further details how the betting firm has been using donations to ‘drive its PR so as to hide sources of funds’.

“It is from the briefcase firm’s accounts that the money to ‘buy’ such donations come from. It is not easy to flag these as illegitimate payments”, Cyprian Nyakundi wrote in part.

Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi

Articles on the mainstream media have been pulled down owing to legal challenges.

“Editor’s note: This story has been withdrawn pending a legal review”, a notice on Nation Media Group’s Business daily said of the deleted article.

Business Daily had an article titled, ‘Betting firm under probe for Sh640m M-Pesa pay’, in which MozzartBet was alleged to have wired the money into a businessman’s account without declaring the source.

The article raised fears of money laundering.

The NMG business wing reported, ‘Peter Kiilu, the owner of Kimaco Connections, allegedly wired Sh242 million to Open Skies Management Services, which is owned by Zimbabwean Emmanuel Charumbira and a shareholder of Mozzartbet. The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) says that the unclear source and wiring of the cash to a web of accounts, including some owned by MozzartBet, point to a money laundering scheme’.

“That Mr Peter Kiilu did not avail the agreement or contracts he alluded to in his recorded statement between Mozzartbet Kenya Ltd and Kimaco Connections and Kimaco Connections and Open Skies Management Services,” the ARA says in court documents.

In Nyakundi’s case, the firm the run adverts on his site refused to take down all the adverts due to the article and only said that they will stop adverts on that particular MozzartBet article.

This is a blow to the firm which has been numerously accused of aiding and abetting money laundering while hiding behind donations and charities.

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