Estonian tech firm seeks to be enjoined in 400M case says it’s the real owners of the money being claimed by Kirimi Koome.

An Estonian tech firm SMTM now wants to be enjoined in Sh 400 million case tells court that they are the real owners of the money being claimed by shrewed businessman Kirimi Koome.

In an affidavit by CEO Dmitri Orlov, SMTM says they are the custodians of the money on behalf of merchants after entering into an agreement with StayOnline Ltd to offer support to them.

In the case, the court has frozen Sh 400 million that Koome has illegally laid claim to after StayOnline Ltd CEO Desire Muhinyuza moved to court to safeguard the money saying it belongs to merchants.

Through lawyer Shanice Maingi, orlov on behalf of the company has disowned Koome saying they only did business with Desire and are not aware how Koome is laying claim to the money.

Orlov says that their company provides a link in the exchange of information from the cardholder to the acquiring bank accepting the payment.

He further states that as the Chief Executive Officer of SMTM, I know all the merchants that use the platform for processing payments

According to court documents, Desire and SMTM started their business relationship (processing services) in Rwanda in September 2021 and the same relationship proceeded in Kenya from May, 2023.

Orlov explains that Merchant relationship is to the effect that the bank holds the funds in trust for the merchants and in return, the bank and the service provider earn commission on all transactions as agreed.

“SMTM has knowledge of Stay Online Limited transactions that pass exclusively through the SMTM processing center,” reads court papers.

He further says that SMTM is a processing center in Europe while Stay Online Limited is a Service Provider in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia

“I know that the ultimate owners of the funds received by Stay Online Limited bank account held at UBA exclusively belong to the merchants as elucidated above,” Orlov says

He further states that from his end he does not know of the commissions earned by the bank in question nor Stay Online Limited

However, money owed to Merchants accrues heavy penaulties if the same is paid later than the agreed date which is the case here as the money has been frozen pending court case.

“During interactions with the merchants of the Intended Interested party/Applicant, only the IP addresses of the merchants,” reads court papers.

Orlov says he is aware that the Stay Online account domiciled at United Bank of Africa, which holds money in trust for the Merchants, has been frozen through a court order.

“I can attest to the fact that when unfrozen, the said money will be paid to the Merchants who have been waiting to be paid according to their respective agreements with Stay Online Limited,” Orlov said.

Koome has since been charged before the criminal court with several counts of fraud related to the matter before court.

CH Reporter

CH Reporter

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