MozzartBet, owners of the Mozzartbet App, have gained public attention after a State agency questioned the source of over 640 million shillings they had paid into a businessman’s accounts within five months.
According to court documents, the Assets Recovery Agency flagged the money transfers as suspicious, and now questions the source of the 640 million shillings that the betting company paid to Kimaco Connections between February and August.
This shows that the Assets Recovery Agency believes the money was not earned from gambling activities on the Mozzartbet App. The gambling sector has been under close watch by the State recently.
The ARA seeks to seize and forfeit the cash sum to the State. The agency dismissed MozzartBet’s explanation that the money was paid for the acquisition of software from Kimaco Connections, which another company, Open Skies Management Services, was later subcontracted to deliver.
Reports claimed that about 242 million Shillings was allegedly transferred by Peter Kiilu, the founder of Kimaco Connections, to Zimbabwe Open Skies Management, a Mauritius-based Management company owned by Emmanuel Charumbira, a Zimbabwean business development expert and shareholder of MozzartBet.
According to the agency, there are clear indications of a money-laundering scheme. This is especially clear going by the dubious ways the money was acquired and the unclear way the cash was transferred to a web of accounts. Some of the accounts are said to be owned by MozzartBet.
Papers filed in court show that MozzartBet used its pay bill number in wiring millions to its pay bill through a pay bill number associated with Kimaco Connections.
In a single day, the highest amount wired was a whopping 50 million shillings, with the lowest being 1.8 million shillings. ARA further alleged that Mozzartbet sent a total of 256 million shillings to Kimaco Connections in a spate of five days, labeling the funds as suspiciously transacted.
Between February and June, the company received 384 million shillings from Mozzartbet, making the total amount received from the betting company 640 million shillings over five months. Investigations further revealed that subsequent transactions clearly showed that the monies were alleged to have been later distributed to various companies linking to directors and shareholders of the betting company.
Officials of betting firms agree that criminals could launder their money through their betting wallets. But the laws don’t require them to report to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) which tracks illicit cash.
However, there has been rapid growth in the number of sports betting companies and casinos in the last few years, leading to the issuance of fresh and renewal of existing licenses by the government.
With the current probe, Mozzarbet becomes another suspect under watchlist in the wake of a series of government crackdowns on suspected non-financial firms involved in illicit cash transfer and financial impropriety.