Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered the deportation of 17 foreigners who are directors of gambling firms. The order is effective immediately.
This is the latest blow to the lucrative multi-billion gambling industry. The government has accused betting firms of among other crimes; tax evasion and money laundering.
Last week, the Betting Licensing and Control Board (BCLB) suspended the licenses of 27 betting firms including Sportpesa and Betin. BCLB also ordered Safaricom to suspend the MPESA Paybill numbers of the said firms.
On Monday, the Central Bank of Kenya wrote to the CEOs of all local banks and financial institutions asking them to monitor accounts of 27 betting firms and public lotteries who licenses have been cancelled.
“We wish to inform you that the licenses for the following betting firms were not renewed until they meet the outstanding renewal requirements as well as the outcome of ongoing due diligence to determine if they are fit and proper to hold a license from this board.
“Consequently, we request you to suspend their pay bills and shortcodes until otherwise advised,” reads the letter dated July 10, 2019.
Ironically, the move to deport the foreigners comes at a time when Starehe MP Charles Njagua aka Jaguar is facing incitement charges in court for threatening foreigners.
“If there are competitions from the Chinese nationals, then there will be no business for you people. Recently we witnessed Matiang’i claiming he had only deported only six Chinese nationals yet we have hundreds in here. We are giving the government 24-hour ultimatum to deport them failure to which I will lead the locals in storming their shops and ejecting them” Jaguar said last month.
The lawmaker was reprimanded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Matiang”i