JUBA – South Sudan minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, has threatened to sue the Asset Recovery Agency of Kenya over fraud and money laundering allegation after his bank account was frozen.
The High Court of Kenya has frozen the bank accounts of the South Sudanese minister over the transfer of more than four hundred and sixty thousand US dollars ($460,000) between January 4, 2018, and January 2, 2020.
In a case filed by senior state counsel Stephen Githinji on behalf of the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) director, the agency said Lomuro’s account at the bank made several suspicious transactions pointing to money laundering.
In December 2019, the US, through the Treasury’s Office of foreign assets control (OFAC) sanctioned Lomuro and his defense counterpart Kuol Manyang Juuk for allegations of fanning violence in the country for their own personal enrichment.
Lomuro denied involvement in money laundering.
“If this is a total amount of money that has been going to my account over the years than it may be correct, that money has been transferred to me from South Sudan from my rents and houses, salaries, and allowances over two, three, and four years that money might have been there,” the government official said during an interview with Radio Miraya on Wednesday morning.
He disclosed that he got the money through his personal properties and businesses in the country.
“I have assets; I have three houses which have been hired. This is a source of my fund. I also have empty plots which are sources of funds. There is no law that disallows me from renting out my house,” he said.
The minister said he will take appropriate legal action against in the Agency in the East African Court of Justice.
“I want whoever labels this allegation against me to come and prove it…..I am going to ask my lawyer straight away and we will take legal against Agency in East Africa Court,” he added.
“This is a very allegation and I want to take them to court. First of all, I have asked my bank whether they were aware of anything of this nature and they said no. I have also asked whether the court has requested them to approve of my income in their bank and they said no,” he disclosed.