NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 8 – Foreign exchange bureaus and money transfer agencies listed alongside firms and individuals listed on a terror watch list in the Kenya Gazette closed shop on Wednesday following a directive by the government.
Among them was Dahabshiil Money Transfer Company Limited, Hodan Global Money Transfer Limited, Tawakal Money Transfer and Juba Express Money Transfer Ltd.
Others were Sky Forex Limited, Kendy Money Transfer Limited and Bakaal Express Money Transfer Limited also in the gazette notice issued on Tuesday.
The companies listed as entities suspected to be associated with Al Shabaab were given a day to explain to the government their owners and associates.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Inspector General of Police notifies the entities set out in the attached list to demonstrate within the next 24 hours why it should not be declared as specified entity,” Police boss Joseph Boinnet directed.
In most of the affected bureaus in town, plain clothes security officers were seen manning the premises.
At a branch of Dahabshiil located at Lonrho House along Standard Street, security officers were holding discussions with the operators who later closed its doors and placed a notice that they would remain closed till further notice.
Others on the list were E Coach Company Limited, City to City Services, Sabrin Bus Services, Haki Africa, Agency for Peace and Development and Ibrahim Kobia alias Kamukunji.
National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said on Wednesday that an investigation will be undertaken for further action to be taken, on those involved.
His pronouncement followed by the gazette notice came after President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government will take the ‘severest action’ on terrorism activities in the country.
On February 22, 2015, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the government did not have a problem with Somali refugees receiving money from their relatives in other parts of the world using the money transfer services.
Amina who spoke when she met Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Kenya, however said Kenya would be concerned and cautious if money being remitted was used to fund terrorist activities.