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ELECTION 2022

Confessions of younger Akasha in remorse letter to American judge

COUNTIES
By Kamau Muthoni | Dec 7th 2019 | 7 min read
Baktash Akasha (left) and his brother Ibrahim Akasha (right) when they appeared in a Mombasa court for their extradition case.

“I regret the many that I hurt, my past, my ignorance, my immaturity is no excuse for the crimes I committed. For a long time, I was bitter and in denial but a phone call to my daughter triggered something inside me, I hurt people. Because of my actions, someone somewhere is facing their own trauma. To them I say sorry.”

These are the words that drug lord Ibrahim Akasha, who personally penned a letter to the US District Judge Victor Marrero expressing his regret for the years he used and sold drugs.

Saturday Standard can exclusively reveal that Ibrahim, whose incarceration number is 75953054, wrote a letter to Justice Marrero on September 17 detailing, in a blow by blow account, how a defilement incident while aged 11, the year when his abusive father was killed in cold blood, had turned him into a monster.

While cooling his heels at Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan, New York, Ibrahim wrote to the judge at dusk, 7.38pm, explaining that a one-sentence telephone conversation with his daughter had mellowed his heart to realise the harm he had done to himself, his family and thousands of families he and his elder brother Baktash Akasha had destroyed through drugs.

Loathed and feared

Ibrahim confesses that he has come to terms with the fact that he turned out to be just like his father, a man loathed and feared in equal measure, but is willing to take the ruins and change his life.

“Dear Judge Marrero. Not too long ago I spoke with my 11-year-old daughter. Every two days I call home but this call stayed with me because my daughter told me, “I want you to be my father.” At that moment I realised I had failed my kids and others. Worse, though, I had become like my alcoholic father who was murdered when I was 11, my daughter’s age,” the letter to the judge, and seen by this paper, reads in part.

He continues: “I hurt people. And not just my kids. Strangers whose names I will never know. Families who will forever be faceless. No letter, or any words, can fully explain how remorseful I am; but I will spend the rest of my life trying to make up for all this. Someday, maybe a long time from now, I hope for forgiveness.”

Ibrahim explained that at the age of 11, one of his family’s employees sexually abused him. To top his miseries, his father was killed in cold blood in Amsterdam.

Having grown as a kid who was regularly abused and watched the senior Akasha beat up his mother, he says, he drowned himself in codeine, then graduated to cocaine to numb the bitterness and pain he was going through.

From the pleadings in court, Ibrahim says that fate had it that he was recruited into drugs trade by his own family at a tender age, could not escape it and when he attained the legal age, he remained tied to his brother Baktash who painted was the heir apparent and kingpin of the Akasha drugs empire.

Ibrahim’s story, as told to the US District judge, is two-fold. On one hand, he accepts full blame for his conduct and ready to reform. On the other, he throws Baktash under the bus.  

Although he did not mention who ‘pulled strings in the drug business’ in name, he associates the top dollar deadly trade that incorporated murder and torture to his own brother, Baktash.

“All the while, that tradition I spoke about stalked me too: my older brother took up my dad’s role. He arranged my marriage and ordered me to do things. In my drug-induced state, I was in a fog and never knew what was going on. And in my world, you never questioned your elders. I was not the one who had connections to drug traffickers, and I certainly did not know anyone who could commit murder for hire. It was others, not me who pulled the strings in this case,” he continued.

Ibrahim stopped schooling at grade four. It, however, emerges that while in prison, he decided to get back to class and earn knowledge. We can reveal that the man has five certificates awarded from 2017.

He had undergone a drug abuse programme and was issued with a certificate dated September 4, 2018.

The other certificate is on corporate skills and book keeping dated July 6, 2017. Ibrahim’s third certificate, dated April 6, 2017, is on business intelligence. The fourth also relates to entrepreneurship while the fifth is on women’s history.

“When I leave prison, I will be the father my daughter wishes for and needs. I want to break the cycle of abuse, absence, and bad traditions. I will be there to love them and set an example of how good adults should behave. My great fear is that they will be like me, like I became like my dad. I have to stop that from happening. In the end, I write this letter to let the court know how sorry I am for my role in this. Please give me the chance to build a new life based on family, love, and respect for the law,” he wrote.

According to Ibrahim, Baktash was the apple of his father’s eye. He told the court that the senior Akasha favored Baktash heavily. He claims that he was a victim of a ‘normal’ and ‘part of everyday life’ bullying.

“Even Baktash participated in the bullying of Ibrahim, pulling down his pants in public and spanking him. Baktash also made it clear that he would hurt Ibrahim if he did not do as Baktash wished,” the judge heard.

Ibrahim claims that he did not know that his father was dealing in drugs. According to the court record, he narrated that when the senior Akasha was killed in 2000, he thought that he died while away on business.

The court heard that after the senior Akasha’s death, his family split further, something which Ibrahim claims was as a result of a dramatic increase of cruely.  He says that there were days when his step mothers would deny them water and food.

He says that he could not question what his family wanted. In fact, he claims he was forced to marry a stranger while he was 19 years. He had four children.

Ibrahim then married a second woman in 2014 but she fled to Russia with their only child after a bitter split about his increased drug use. Those within his circles claimed that he was a gentle, generous, respectful and caring man.

“After both his father’s death in 2000 and older brother Kamaldin’s death in 2002, Ibrahim was not only expected to work, but also listen to his elder brother, Baktash, without question. If he did not, he would be viewed differently within the family and be looked down upon and physically hurt by his brother for disobeying him.”

Shamed and discriminated

“He was faced with the implications of stress, trauma, abuse and loss at the earliest of ages and due to the familial and shared context of his environment, resorted to substance use to manage the pain and distress associated with his experiences,” the court heard.

In his pleadings, Ibrahim told the court that his family ostracized, shamed and discriminated against him from a young age which compromised successful identity formation, coping skills, reasoning and decision-making skills.

The 31-year-old claims that long exposure to violence within his family and ‘Kenyan familial culture’ held him hostage to drugs business and violence.

“Due to repeated exposure to trauma, emotional, moral, cognitive and behavioral development was significantly compromised. These effects, and not a criminally driven personality, led to participation in the current arresting incident. From a young age, fear and intimidation was the foundation of Ibrahim’s development, which sadly, continued to influence his adult identity,” Ibrahim’s plea before judge Marrero reads.

According to Ibrahim, his father was a violent man who ruled by the fist and did not take no for an answer.

It continues: “The collectivist culture in which Ibrahim grew up resulted in his significant developmental disruption and lifestyle instability, such that his moral reasoning was stunted due to Kenyan familial culture and tradition that impacted his ability to determine right from wrong.”

Ibrahim was born to Akasha’s third wife.

While his father often traveled for work, he remembers him as a violent and abusive man who drank a lot.

Judge Marrero heard that as a child, Ibrahim witnessed his father beat his mother on numerous occasions, including once with a garden hose.

The senior Akasha, who was killed in an Amsterdam street, is said to have encouraged the children of his two other wives to mistreat him and his mother.

“My mother was a native African and her marriage to his father was not arranged, but rather one out of love. She also had children from a previous relationship.

As a result of both of these things, she, as well as her children, were treated as beneath and subservient to the other two wives and their children,” he added.

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