Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is closely monitoring 800 personal bank accounts ahead of September 30th deadline for exchanging the old Sh1,000 notes.
The banks’ regulator suspects that the owners of the said accounts may attempt to launder illicit cash before the deadline, according to Daily Nation.
CBK said Sh100 billion of the old Sh1,000 bill is still in the hands of private individuals, slightly over a week before the period for exchanging the notes elapses.
The body believes part of the cash is ill-gotten and persons may attempt to return them into the system in the coming days.
The 800 accounts have been under scrutiny over the last three months and huge transactions have sparked formal investigations.
“At this point in time, the level of vigilance is extremely high. Banks have been reminded to report any suspicious financial activity using know-your-customer rules.”
“We are continually advising banks to scrutinize every person who comes to exchange notes or makes unusually high deposits,” Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) CEO Habil Olaka said.
Authorities are also monitoring transactions that require huge amounts of money like buying vehicles, land, and investment in shares.
Last week, CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge insisted that the deadline for the withdrawal of the old notes will not be extended.
“I want you to take this message to every corner of the country … that people have to dispose of their old Sh1,000 banknotes by September 30. We shall not extend the period,” Njoroge said.