Airline director in war with fellow directors claims life in danger

A BlueBird aviation plane: The co-founder of the charter airline Yussuf Adan claims his life is in danger.
A co-founder of charter airline Bluebird Aviation says his life is in danger in the midst of a board war.

Yussuf Adan has filed a criminal complaint against other shareholders of the airline and wants the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate them.

“I verily believe that my life and that of my family is at great risk and may be subject to harm with the sole intention of putting pressure on me and my family to withdraw the ongoing dispute in court,” Adan avers in a statement to the DCI.

Adan's move has now sucked police into the wars that have threatened to stall the operations of the airline for years.

He claims the other directors continue to enjoy state security with more than 50 officers, irregularly assigned for their close protection and residential guarding.

He wants the DCI to probe the three shareholders and executives — Hussein Farah, Unshur Mohamed and Mohamed Abdikadir — for fraudulent accounting, tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

The shareholders have since 2016 been locked in a bitter court fight over control of the airline with 21 aeroplanes.

Adan, has filed a civil case at the Milimani Commercial Court seeking to recover more than $1 billion (Sh100 billion) embezzled and misappropriated from Bluebird Aviation in the last 27 years.

He avers in an affidavit and letter sent to DCI by lawyer Paul Muite that most of money in the airline records is kept in offshore accounts, in stocks, land and real estate in countries like Mauritius, South Africa, Somali, UAE, Dubai, USA, Canada and Britain.

The complaint has also alerted Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Jonny Andersen to commence an internal probe against the directors for abuse of designated Airport ALL ACCESS AREAS passes issued to them.

Adan alleges that his co-directors have been bypassing Airport security searches at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to transport liquid cash stolen from Bluebird Aviation to offshore destinations.

“I am aware that these Directors have been misusing these Airport passes by bypassing Airport Authorities and security personnel by physically transporting stolen liquid cash rightfully belonging to Bluebird aviation limited to the United Arab Emirates via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and depositing the same in offshore accounts.”

Adan now wants the DCI to use the accusations made in the civil suit to investigate the three co-founders, escalating the shareholder row.

“I am making a criminal complaint in respect of the many abuses and many wrongs committed by the other co-directors of Bluebird Aviation,” said Mr Yussuf in a complaint filed at the DCI registry on March 8.

A senior officer at DCI said the matter is under active investigation.

We could not get a comment from the other directors as their mobile phones went unanswered.

Adan has filed a court petition seeking to wind up Bluebird, claiming that the other three directors have never involved him in any of the company’s affairs.

“Apart from totally excluding Mr Yussuf from the affairs of the company, the other three directors have never shared with him any financial details of the company,” the court documents say.

With a fleet of more than 20 aircraft, Bluebird Aviation Ltd, is licensed to operate scheduled, non-scheduled and ad-hoc air charter services, medical evacuation and relief services within the East and Central African region with special emphasis on Eastern Africa.

Over the last two decades, the firm has grown into one of the most reliable air passenger and cargo charter companies in the region, catering for not only the humanitarian sector but also private and government institutions and Miraa cargo freighting to Somalia. 

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Bluebird AviationDCIAirline director