Detectives in Mombasa are investigating the link between the kidnappers behind the killing of a 38-year-old trader and inmates in a Malindi prison.
Yesterday, police sources told The Standard the partial ransom of Sh300,000 was sent to mobile numbers in a Malindi prison but was later withdrawn in Mombasa.
The trader, Moiz Esmaili-Jee, was kidnapped on Saturday outside a mosque at Mombasa’s Old Town and his body was found dumped at Frere Town in Nyali on Monday.
Family members said the captors had demanded a Sh2 million ransom, which they could not raise and instead informed the police to track down the kidnappers.
Police said the Sh300,000 was sent to three mobile lines, which were traced to Malindi Prison and it was not clear how the kidnappers were able to access the line and later withdraw the cash in Mombasa.
The numbers that received the money are 0712109645, 0706878110 and 0712105015, which were all traced to the prison.
Police sources indicated 38 phones and over 150 SIM cards were confiscated from the prison although no one was arrested in the process.
On Monday night, the police arrested Julie Mwamuye, the owner of a Safaricon agent shop situated in Kibarani where the money was withdrawn.
Yesterday, the suspect was arraigned before a Mombasa court but she did not plead to any charge after the prosecution requested 14 more days to allow the police to conclude the investigation.
Senior State prosecutor Jami Yenina said through a sworn affidavit by an investigation officer, that those who withdrew the Sh300,000 are linked to unknown individuals within Malindi Prisons where the ransom numbers received Sh100,000 each.
Esmaili-jee, an ICT expert, was found strangled to death after he was kidnapped outside a mosque in Old Town where he had gone for morning prayers.
Police reports indicate the money was later withdrawn from a Safaricom Agent number 64821, agent name Britt Travel and Car Hire Wamugunda within King’orani Mombasa which was being operated by Ms Mwamuye.
Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony allowed the State to detain Mwamuye for 14 days pending investigations but allowed her to see her family and access a lawyer.
Police believe Mwamuye has information that may lead to the arrest of the persons who withdrew the money.
Yenina said those involved are part of an intricate and organised dangerous gang and therefore the need to protect Mwamuye.