Kenyan Banks allegedly "facilitating large scale pillage of South Sudan"; includes KCB's response, Equity Bank & Stanbic did not respond

Human rights activists in Nairobi recently took to the streets to push for an official crackdown on Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank and Stanbic Bank for allegedly aiding and abetting the conflict in South Sudan. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the banks to respond to allegations. Kenya Commercial Bank responded and the response is included. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre will include the response from Equity Bank and Stanbic Bank if received. 

 

 

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Company non-response
9 December 2018

Equity Bank did not respond

Article
9 December 2018

Kenya protesters allege Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank and Stanbic complicit in South Sudan conflict

Author: APA (Senegal)

"Nairobi demo targets funders of S/Sudan conflict"

Parts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi ground to a halt... as a teeming mass of demonstrators took to the streets to push for an official crackdown on local banks allegedly aiding and abetting the conflict in South Sudan. According to leading activist Boniface Mwangi, the ongoing carnage in South Sudan has claimed the lives of 3 percent of the country’s population and is being facilitated by Kenyan banks and government. He named leading Kenya commercial banks for fueling the conflict such as the Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity and Stanbic banks.

The protesters who were joined by South Sudanese nationals living in Kenya later moved from Uhuru Park and staged protests outside branches of the banks in Nairobi. “War criminals are looting South Sudan,” one placard read while another screamed: “Stop stealing our gold money.”Mwangi said that the world has for too long either ignored the war on South Sudan or considered it a simple power struggle between the factions of President Salva Kiir and his ex- deputy, Riek Machar. “While the humanitarian crisis deepens and millions face starvation bank accounts of certain south Sudanese are handling millions of dollar worth of transactions are growing fat. It is clear that banks of Kenyan and Uganda are handling millions of dollars’ worth of transactions that reward generals and warlords not just to continue massacring their own people, but able to profit from it through illegal trade in oil and teak wood smuggling,” he said.

 

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Company non-response
9 December 2018

Stanbic Bank did not respond

Company response
9 December 2018

Kenya Commercial Bank's Response

Author: Kenya Commercial Bank

"Statement on South Sudan Money Laundering Allegations"

KCB Group PLC has taken note of reports appearing in the media regarding South Sudan which adversely refer to KCB Bank South Sudan operations at various times in the last half of 2018. KCB Group wishes to disassociate itself with reports linking the bank to involvement in any form of money laundering....We have continually and promptly complied with all requests for sanctions against individuals and entities listed by the United Nations Security Council and other watch lists, and will continued to do so. Among them are the two UN Security Council Sanctions list (vide resolution 2206- 2015 and resolution 2428- 2018).  At our level, this means isolating and freezing their respective accounts as per the provisions of the sanctions.

KCB Bank South Sudan continues to work closely with the Government of South Sudan and the Bank of South Sudan with regards to resolutions on sanctioned parties. KCB has continually engaged the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan on the South Sudan sanctions and the authors of the Sentry Report on the Bank’s operations in the country.  The bank also continues to work with the respective Central banks in Kenya and in South Sudan to strengthen the market environment in South Sudan. We reiterate that KCB Group has invested in a robust AML System, which ensures that we are in compliance with all the AML requirements.  Additionally, we wish to emphasize that all wholly owned or controlled KCB Group companies are committed to implementing single global standards shaped by the most effective anti-money laundering standards available in any location where KCB operates. 

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