Jailed drug trafficker risks losing properties worth Sh100 million

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A convicted drug baron risks losing properties worth over Sh100 million after a state agency filed a suit claiming they were acquired through proceeds of crime.

Asset Recovery Agency claims the properties were bought using part of over Sh400 million amassed by Abdulmajid Msallam Timami and his partner Said Mselem Abdallah through illicit trade in narcotic drugs between 2014 and 2022.

“They acquired the assets using benefits derived from the illegitimate trade in narcotic drugs hence proceeds of crime, which should be forfeited to the state. They engaged in criminal enterprises and concealed the proceeds by investing the funds in the listed properties,” said ARA.

The properties ARA want to seize include 11 motor vehicles, several rental houses within Mombasa and four prime parcels of land.

Timami was in January sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking 1015.8 grams of heroin worth Sh3 million by Mombasa Resident Magistrate Rita Orora.

He was also fined Sh9.1 million, three times the amount of heroin he was found trafficking or serve an additional one year.

ARA had in February obtained a court order freezing Timami and Abdalla’s assets pending investigations.

The state agency through lawyer Joyce Ngelechei submitted that upon conclusion of investigations, they have discovered that the properties were acquired through proceeds of drug money.

“Investigations established that Timami in collaboration with his hired mules obtained suspicious huge cash deposits in his accounts which we suspect were direct proceeds of the narcotic trade,” said Ngelechei.

To conceal his properties, ARA stated that the convicted businessman registered the assets in the names of his family members and proxies but the rent generated from the assets were traced to his personal accounts at Gulf African Bank and NCBA Bank.

According to ARA, Timami’s account at Gulf Africa Bank received Sh76 million, his account at NCBA Bank was credited with Sh165 million, his dollar account received USD824,000 (Sh114,832,640), another Sh7 million in his ABSA account and Sh18 million received through mobile money transfer.

ARA stated that as soon as the amount were deposited in his accounts by sources suspected to be drug traffickers, he transferred some to his relatives and other accounts while others were invested in the listed properties.

“They acquired millions of shilling through narcotic trade and invested the illegitimate funds in properties so as to conceal and disguise the source of their funds. The properties are proceeds of crime which should be forfeited to the state,” said Ngelechei.

She said some properties were registered in Abdalla’s name because he is Tanzanian to avoid suspicion of the source of funds.