The US government blocked the arrest of Worldcoin co-founders in Kenya according to revelations by the Ministry of Interior.
In a recent development, Kithure Kindiki, the interior cabinet secretary for Kenya, said that the US government had intervened to save American nationals connected to the Worldcoin initiative from being detained in Kenya.
Prof Kindiki made this revelation in a recent report while testifying before an ad hoc committee of the Kenyan National Assembly which is investigating the activities of Worldcoin within the country.
The case clarifies the intricate legal and diplomatic difficulties surrounding the cryptocurrency project and the global reaction it has sparked.
The controversy surrounding the Worldcoin project in Kenya continues to unfold, with a parliamentary committee chaired by Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo tasked with investigating the project’s activities in the country.
The committee’s findings, to be tabled by September 28, promise to shed light on the involvement of Tools for Humanity (TFH), a U.S.-registered organization, and its German counterpart, TFH (Gmbh), in the crypto initiative.
Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki revealed that attempts were made to detain Mr. Blania and Mr. Thomas Scott, TFH’s legal spokesman, as they were departing the country through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
However, the intervention of the United States government led to their release. The U.S. government argued that the individuals had not been found guilty of any crimes and should not be detained without due process.
The National Assembly Adhoc committee members had questioned why the World Coin Project founders were not put behind bars pending the conclusion of the investigation arguing that preliminary findings show they violated the law.
Manyatta MP John Mukunji questioned why arrests were still pending despite glaring violation of the law by the World Coin Project operators saying the pending arrests might lead to mistrust from Kenyans.
“Could we have some arraigned in court because even before the conclusion of the investigation we know already the law was broken and Kenyans were misused. Are we still in that part of the investigation until the public is not following keenly,” Mukunji said.
“We are here arresting people who have committed small crimes like stealing Chicken. But what about these people who have committed bigger crimes, when they were here smirking at us,” Kisumu East Shakiir Shabir said.
Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma added: ”These people were here walking freely. Why are we applying the law selectively on something so clear? Why are the law enforcement agencies not acting even the law clear on matters mentioned,”
Cabinet Secretary Kindiki also informed the committee that Kenyan authorities have recovered “Orbs” and other electronic gadgets used for collecting iris data, a crucial component of the Worldcoin project.
These devices have been submitted to the Communications Authority and the cyber forensic laboratory for analysis.
This analysis aims to determine the exact number of Kenyan individuals who were signed up for the Worldcoin project and had their sensitive personal data collected.
It will also assess the capabilities of the apparatus, possible health implications, and whether they were authorized for use in Kenya.
The struggles of Worldcoin in Kenya is not unique to the region as the biometrics protocol is also facing similar probes in Germany and Argentina amongst a few other nations.