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How Baktash took over drugs trade from father

COUNTIES
By Willis Oketch | April 21st 2019
Baktash Akasha (left) and his brother Ibrahim Akasha when they appeared before Mombasa Law Courts for their extradition case on January 2, 2017. [File, Standard]

Before drug baron Ibrahim Akasha Abdallah was shot dead in May 2000 at red light district in Amsterdam he had established a sizeable drug network in various parts of the World.

He arrived in Kenya from Pakistan through Ethiopia shortly after independence initially engaging in motor vehicle spare parts business.

When Kenatco collapsed in the 80s, companies associated with Akasha are said to have taken it over, and re-modeled it into a transport company dealing in copper from Zambia to Mombasa port for export.

That was before the price of copper plummeted in the world market and Akasha was left clutching onto a transport network without materials to export.

“My father got his riches from transportation of copper ore before exporting it to various parts of Europe,” explains Habab Akasha, his eldest son.

Kept off

Habab was the first victim of the drug empire early 1990 when he was jailed 10 years by a Tanzanian court for being in possession of heroin. After being set free from Tanzanian jail, he kept off drug trade.

Since then, Habab concentrated in motor vehicle spare parts business as his siblings- Baktash and Kamaldin continued helping their father in other business.

In no time, Akasha dropped the copper business and switched full time to drug trade, accumulating billions of shillings which enabled him to buy way and property in Mombasa.

In 1996 rumours of the senior Akasha dabbling in big time drug trade gained credence after he was arrested and charged with being in possession of drugs.

This was the beginning of the run-ins with the law. During the trial, Bakhtash and Kamaldin acted as his bodyguards and are said to have been rough on people not on their father’s side.

The courts never nailed him and so he continued to execute his drug trade.

“During his tenure as the drug baron, Akasha brought his two sons Baktash and Kamaldin closer to him who learnt the ropes of trade and by the time of his death they were already in it,” explained another source.

Again in the year he died, another warrant of arrest was issued against him in a Sh940 million hashish haul trial. His empire was beginning to crumble. Among those being tried in the case included Baktash and Kamaldin.

They were later set free but one of the accomplices who had named Ibrahim Akasha as the owner the drug, Mohamed Ghani was jailed for 10 years. The senior Akasha was never brought to book but later that year, he was felled by an assassin bullet in Amsterdam.

So powerful was he that even in death, the sons forced through his burial in his Nyali residence despite uproar from residents.

Immediately after this, Kamaldin took charge but not for long before he was shot dead and Baktash, the blue eyed boy of his father since teenage, took over espousing similar bullish characteristics of his late father.

Plea bargain

He established himself as the true heir to their drug lord father, roping in international drug traffickers who further expanded the empire from Pakistan, Afghanistan and South Africa to West Africa Europe and United States.

Using violence, money and threats, he solidified his hold on the empire.

His brother Tinta Akasha once complained against him about a gun drama in their home before Tinta relocated to Nairobi but nothing was done to him.

With the impending jailing of Baktash and his brother in US, the family is said to have been in panic mode. Among their fears is that the family property could be taken over or caught up in plea bargain.

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