Countering Money Laundering in the Financial Services Sector in Kenya

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Considering that there is limited research and literature on preventing money laundering in the financial services sector in Kenya, this study sought to endeavour to identify the anti-money laundering (AML) strategies and tools for combating the crime. Second goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of these AML measures or tools and explore remedial action for reducing this financial crime. The third objective was to undertake an investigation to identify the main sources and methods used to facilitate laundering of illicit funds in the financial sector. In addressing these objectives, mixed method research approach was utilised and 64 responses were received and analysed using descriptive statistics. Additionally, 20 face-to face- interviews were conducted and themes, which are the key findings of the study were identified through thematic analysis approach. All data gathered in the research is from AML experts in Kenya.
In this study, evidence gathered from these AML experts and literature reviewed has indicated that money laundering is rife in Kenya. Accordingly, the study found that, if enforced appropriately, most of these AML measures and tools such as “Know Your Customer” (KYC), timely reporting of suspicious transactions, information sharing, political will and asset recovery can regulate money laundering in the sector. Conversely, the study revealed that among the main AML preventative challenges are lack of information sharing and domestic cooperation by the key stakeholders mandated to fight the practice of money laundering. In addition, the study discovered that corruption is the main source of illicit funds that are laundered in the financial sector. Likewise, the most popular method of laundering such funds in Kenya is through purchase of real estate. In conclusion, in the research study, one of the key recommendations is the creation of a specialised and dedicated hybrid AML policing unit to mitigate money laundering risks in the sector.
Date of Award9 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMark Button (Supervisor), David Shepherd (Supervisor) & Paul Gilmour (Supervisor)

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