Over Sh 100 Million received by terror suspects, court heard yesterday

Sophia Njoki, Abdullahi Muhumed , Abdinoor Maalim, Osmail and Ali Khamis Ali in the dock at a Milimani court . Police requested for 30 days to detain them to investigate them in connection to Dusit 2 hotel terror attack. [Photo: George Njunge / Standard]

The State has told a court a suspect received over Sh100 million believed to be for financing terrorism.

This emerged as six more suspects were arraigned in connection to last week's terror attack.

In a sworn affidavit, Inspector Monica Githaiga of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit told the court that Abdinoor Maalim Osmail, a graduate of Kenya School of Law currently undergoing pupillage, received the cash in the past few months.

The money is suspected to have been meant to fund terrorism.

The affidavit was presented yesterday in a Nairobi court where the prosecution made an application to detain, for 30 days, six people suspected to be linked to last Tuesday's attack at dusitD2 Hotel on 14 Riverside Drive, Nairobi.

"That information so far received show that the fourth respondent has registered several mobile phone numbers that were used to receive money for terrorism purposes and that within the last few months, he has received over Sh100 million which is suspected to be for the purposes of terrorism," swore Githaiga.

Huge amounts

Another suspect, Hassan Abdi Nur, was said have been receiving huge amounts of money from South Africa, which was later withdrawn through a specific till number. Intelligence reports indicated that he would later send the money to Somalia after making several calls.

Abdi, who operates an M-Pesa business, is said to have registered 52 accounts out of which 47 were listed in October, November and December last year.

Abdi, Maalim, Ismael Sadiq Abitham, Ali Khamisi Ali, Abdulalahi Muhumed Hassan and Sophia Njoki Mbogo were arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Maalim was arrested on January 22, 2019. His mobile phone was seized and has been subjected to forensic examination revealing the money transactions. 

The affidavit reads that Abdi received Sh9 million from South Africa and the same was withdrawn through M-Pesa and later through Diamond Trust Bank Eastleigh Branch.

Police suspect the money was for financing terrorism.

Abdi is said to have registered 47 Sim Cards using different identity cards and names. The Sim Cards were all used in two handsets which were all geo-located within Eastleigh area, Nairobi.

“My team of investigators and I are currently in the process of obtaining subscriber details for the 47 accounts for the above mentioned and carrying out analysis of the same,” said Githaiga.

Sadiq and Khamisi are said to have been in constant communication. Investigators believe that it was for the sole purpose of coordinating with the key suspect in the dusitD2 Hotel attack, Ali Salim Gichunge and his wife, Violet Kemunto Omwoyo.

The court heard Hassan, who was arrested on January 22, operates a courier service within Eastleigh. Police suspect that he was used by the terrorists who attacked the city complex to move parcels to several locations within the country.

The prosecution said he was in constant communication with Faisal Mohammed Digale who was linked to the Garissa University attack and Gichunge.

Njoki, a branch manager at Diamond Trust Bank Eastleigh branch, allowed Abdi to withdraw huge amounts of cash within a short period.

"There is no evidence that she ever filed the required reports," stated Githaiga  in the affidavit. 

Led by State Counsel Dancun Ondimu, the prosecution said Abdi was arrested on January 22,2019 on Waiyaki Way. His mobile phone was seized and is being forensically examined.

Sadiq works with Horizon TV as a social media representative. He was arrested on January 22,2019 within Nairobi County and his mobile phone seized.

Constant communication

He is said to have been in constant communication with Gichunge. Police suspect he was involved in laundering money and transacting funds believed to be for the purposes of terrorism.

Ali Khamis works as a marketing manager with Horizon TV and was arrested on January 22, 2019 and his mobile phone seized for forensic examination.

He is said to have been in constant communication with several phone numbers in Somalia suspected to belong to Al Shabaab members.

According to Githaiga, there is need to closely study numbers and liaise with Somali Authorities to obtain information on the same.

Sadiq and Khamis are suspected to have been in constant communication for the purpose of coordinating with the key attackers at Dusit. 

Muhumed, was arrested on January 22, 2019 within Eastleigh. He operates courier services within Eastleigh and is suspected of being used to move parcels for the attackers.

He is said to have been in constant communication with three other suspects, Abdi, Faisal Mohammed and Gichunge.

Five suspects were arrested due to possible involvement in aiding and abetting the attack.

Defence is expected to table its response affidavit today by 12pm.