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PROJECTS BLOG 10/23/2013

Bangla-Pesa Relaunch in November

On May 29th 2013 we were arrested and charged with forgery. On August 23rd 2013 the case against Bangla-Pesa was dropped. A month after acquittal, the Central Bank of Kenya’s Currency Department had finally made contact with us to ask us for information about the program (which they received). After nearly two months of misplaced court files, this last week of October we were finally given an official copy of the court order to drop the case against us. Receiving this court order signifies the end to prosecution and continuing the program under the guidance, if any, from local authorities and the Central Bank.

When the government decided Bangla-Pesa was illegal, with no prior investigation, they raided our one room office with over 20 police officers. The items taken from our office by police included Bangla-Pesa vouchers and identification stickers for businesses. These items are still being held by the police 5 months later! Given there is no case against us and the matter was investigated by the Director of Public Prosecution holding program materials makes no sense.

The police under OC Banking Fraud Investigations insists that they have the right to continue holding any materials as long as there is still an investigation. These investigations, which resulted in the case being dropped, may still never end we are told. Contrary to the police, the local administrative government officials have been very supportive and as of October there is no authority local, national or police telling us not to relaunch the program.

It seems doubtful that we’ll ever receive the Bangla-Pesa and other materials taken from us by police, so, in order for the Bangladesh community to relaunch the program, they are working on a new design for the vouchers, which should be ready by our prospective launch date November 23rd. We look forward to support from many local stakeholders!

-Will Ruddick


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