The High Court, on Friday, froze a Ksh6 million gift sent to 23-year-old student Felista Njoroge by her billionaire Belgian boyfriend and cryptocurrency trader, Merc De Mesel.
In a ruling delivered by Lady Justice Diana Kavedza, the Assets and Recovery Agency was allowed to confiscate the money on suspicion that the Ksh6 million gift was a product of money laundering.
The judge also questioned the source of the funds, indicating that the matter was not disclosed.
As a result, Justice Kavedza froze the student’s assets and also barred individuals acting on her behalf from transacting, withdrawing or transferring the amount.
An image of a legal scale and a gavel.
“That the orders shall remain in force for a period of ninety (90) days as provided in Section 84 of the Proceeds of Crime and AntiMoney Laundering Act (POCAMLA),” the judge ordered.
The judge directed that the matter would be mentioned on November 22, 2023, before Lady Justice Esther Maina, presiding Judge, Anti-Corruption Division.
According to the clause, the 90-day period can lapse if there is an application for a forfeiture order pending before the court or an order from a judge revoking the ruling before the expiry of the period.
Njoroge made headlines in 2021 after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives intercepted over Ksh100 million sent by her Belgian boyfriend as a gift.
The student lamented about the court’s order, arguing that the amount was to be used for personal use.
According to the court documents, the Belgian national informed the court that the student was allowed to use the funds to secure her future for her children. He added that the gift was a product of their love.
However, De Mesel was again in the spotlight after allegedly sending Ksh257 million to three other women.
This also caught ARA’s attention, which received court orders to freeze the money pending the completion of investigations.
Cryptocurrency investor Merc De Mesel in Europe in 2017
Courtesy Merc De Mesel