Former CS Echesa arrested for alleged involvement in extortion ring

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has been arrested. [File, Standard]

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has been arrested by detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

He is currently being held at Muthaiga Police Station, pending arraignment next week on Tuesday.

The ex-CS was reportedly picked by the investigators from his house in Nairobi on Thursday morning.

His lawyer Danstan Omari says he is being held to help the sleuths with investigations into abduction allegations. As of Thursday night, he adds, no official communication had been issued by the police.

“We have been allowed to see him aand we understand that he is being detained to help with investigations into an abduction allegation and extortion. This is something we don’t know about,” Omari has told the media.

Omari claims that Echesa has been subjected to 'inhumane torture' since his arrest.

Meanwhile, a video has surfaced online showing Echesa handcuffed and alongside Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa.

The police are yet to communicate on the issue.

Last week, a man was arraigned at the Kibera Law Courts for allegedly using threats to demand property of Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa.

William Simiyu Matere was charged with two counts of demanding more than Sh240 million from the county boss as police sought more time to hold him pending investigations.

“On the diverse dates between December 2023 and 18th March 2024 at unknown place within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before court conspired together to commit a felony namely Demanding property with menace and extorted from Fernandez Odinga Barasa a total of Sh240, 000 the property of the said Fernandes Odinga Barasa,” a section of the Charge sheet read.

The suspect was freed on a Sh2 million bond and a surety of the same amount. The case will be mentioned on March 27 for more directions from the court.

Matere was arrested on Monday, March 18, night.

He was picked from an upmarket hotel in Nairobi where he had allegedly come to get his payment after agreeing to a payout with the governor.

At the time, sources close to the investigation suspected that the person behind the extortion ring is a senior politician from the region and was a Cabinet Secretary in the Jubilee government.

“It is alleged that Matere is part of a ring that also faked a kidnapping incident involving the former CS where they demanded Sh1.5 billion to secure his release from the alleged kidnappers. The ring had already received Sh5 million as ransom before it was discovered that the kidnapping was not real,” police told The Standard.

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