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Police raid American investor’s residence in Taita-Taveta

By Renson Mnyamwezi | September 1st 2018

Police raided the residence of a US philanthropist after reports emerged he was operating an NGO illegally in Taita-Taveta County.

Police claim Mr Stephen T Isaac, who is the chairman and CEO of Aduro Biotech, has been offering humanitarian assistance at the remote Kasigau location in Voi Sub-county in the past 14 years.

Aduro BioTech is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of early-stage cancer therapies.

The investor operates an NGO known as Abe Club.

The police said Isaac had so far spent more than Sh100 million in humanitarian assistance on bright students besides offering jobs to the local community.

The police said the investor had also been wiring about Sh3 million monthly for workers’ salaries and towards implementation of development projects.

Questions have, however, been raised if the investor had been paying taxes to the government for the millions of shillings he had been spending in the region.

Isaac has also been caught up in a controversy over a community banda he owns in the area, with some residents and leaders claiming a few individuals illegally allocated him the facility without involving the local community.

“We had earlier summoned the foreigner to come to the Voi Divisional Police Headquarters to shed more light about his activities in the region but he failed to turn up, hence prompting the raid,” said a senior officer at Voi police station.

Voi OCPD Joseph Chesire said they raided the investor’s residence to find out whether he is operating in the country legally.

“We went to his residence to verify his documents after claims went round that he is operating an NGO illegally. We saw the investor’s passport among other immigration documents to confirm that he is legally in Kenya,” said Chesire.

Isaac was not available for comment. However, his manager, Amos Makalo, said the philanthropist had invested heavily in the area in health and education.

He said more than 200 bright students from poor families are benefiting from Isaac’s programme to further their education.

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