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State goes for Akasha’s Sh400m beach house

COAST
By Willis Oketch | January 28th 2021

The home of the Akasha's family in Nyali, Mombasa County where their father, Ibrahim Akasha was buried. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The State now wants to seize the multi-million palatial home of slain drug baron Ibrahim Abdhallah Akasha in Nyali, Mombasa, which it has classified as proceeds of crime.

In a letter to the Asset Recovery Agency dated September 29, 2020 Director of Anti-Narcotic Police Unit Dr Hamisi Massa said the beach house in Nyali should be forfeited to the State. Massa claims the property belongs to the two sons of the patriarch, Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha, convicted by a US court for trading in narcotics. The senior Akasha was shot dead on May 5, 2000 at at Red Light Amsterdam.

The letter was produced in court in a case filed by a daughter-in-law of the slain drug baron Najima Baktash (Baktasha’s wife) to oppose the State agencies’ plan to seize the properties.

“The above subjects committed offenses under the Narcotic Drugs. The subjects pleaded guilty to the charges and were convicted accordingly. In view of the above, the subjects have properties liable to forfeit that include a beach house in Nyali, Mombasa,” reads the letter to the Director Assets Recovery Agency.

The value of the home in the high-end estate of Nyali is estimated to be over Sh400 million. Najma yesterday pleaded with the court to release golden chains and three vehicles which were seized by detectives from the house seven years ago during the arrest of Baktash and Ibrahim.

Baktash has since been sentenced to serve 25 years in the US after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export drugs there. Ibrahim is serving a 23-year jail term after he also pleaded guilty to drug-related charges he was accused of having committed in Kenya.

The two, alongside Indian drug felon Vijayghiri Goswami and Pakistani Gulam Hussein were snatched away as they battled an extradition trial at the magistrate’s court in Mombasa following their arrest by US and Kenyan police on November 9, 2015.

When Kenyan and US police raided Baktash’s seaside residence to arrest the four they also encountered Bollywood actress Mamta Kulkarni who was Goswami’s mistress.

According to police reports after the arrest weapons, bullets, jewelry, cellphones and vehicles were carted away by investigators. Najma has launched court battles to have items which were seized by the police from Baktash’s house during the raid returned saying they did not belong to her husband.

She insists that most if not all the properties in the hand of her husband and brother in-law belonged to her father in-law, the late Ibrahim. Yesterday the High Court also summoned Massa to explain why the State wants to confiscate a beach house belonging to Baktash who was found guilty of drug trafficking in US.

Justice Erick Ogola also summoned Asset Recovery Agency official Jeniffer Buriti to appear before him on March 3, 2021 to explain how the property is linked to illicit drug trade.

The judge issued the summons following a request by State lawyer David Fedha.

“Summons are hereby issued for Massa and Asset Recovery Agency to come to court on March 3 to enlighten the court over why these properties should be forfeited to the State,” said Ogola.

During the hearing Najma’s lawyer Kiogora Mugambi told the court that his client was opposed to the plan to investigate ownership of the beach house, which he said belonged to the deceased family patriarch.

Najma told the court that the property being held by the police belongs to her mother-in-law Fatuma Akasha - the second wife of the slain Akasha. 

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