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Austrian tourist’s binge turns tragic in Mtwapa, ‘the village that never sleeps’

Wednesday September 18 2019

Cocaine

An Austrian national who died after collapsing at a club in Mtwapa town had injected himself with a drug, police investigations have revealed. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMED AHMED
By MOHAMED AHMED
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BRIAN OCHARO
By BRIAN OCHARO
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Just after midnight on September 4, Armin Roger Roeseler left Indiana Hotel with his friend Dietmar Markus and headed to Casuarina Club in Mtwapa, Kilifi County.

At the club, two women identified as Everylne Chengetich and Lydia Nyaboke joined Mr Roeseler — who was visiting Kenya for the first time — and his host Markus.

INJECTED

As the partying progressed, Mr Roeseler, a body builder, allegedly inquired from the women where he would get cocaine.

“They had little knowledge of where they could get the drug and requested for help from a taxi driver who volunteered to guide the foreigners,” states a police report.

Mr Roeseler, 47, gave the taxi driver Sh10,000 to fetch the drug. He reportedly injected himself in the arm with the substance and went on drinking at the club.

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Police records show he began feeling sick and made several trips to the toilet. As things got worse, Markus advised him to return to their hotel. “He refused and went on partying until 4am when his condition worsened,” reads the police report.

Shortly afterwards, he lost consciousness. Bouncers rushed him to the nearby Jambo Jipya Medical Clinic, where he was referred to Jocham Hospital in Mombasa.

He was pronounced dead on arrival. An autopsy revealed that his death was caused by a drug overdose. The two women were arrested, recorded statements and charged at Shanzu Law Court with the murder of Mr Roeseler.

OVERDOSE

On Monday the women appeared before Shanzu Senior Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo but did not take plea.

State Counsel Rosemary Nandi said they were reviewing the file before making a decision on charges they may prefer against them. "The file has not been brought to court because the ODPP is still reviewing the evidence gathered before a decision is made on the fate of the suspects. We ask for more time to avail the file," Ms Nandi said. Sources privy to the investigations said the two might be discharged because the postmortem report indicated that Mr Roeseler died of a cocaine overdose.

Prepared by Jocham Hospital, the postmortem report shows the drug affected his nervous system.

But, while asking for more time to detain the suspects, investigating officer Sammy Oyaro said Mr Roeseler might have been drugged.

“I am yet to record statements from all witnesses,” said the officer.

CREMATED

The court directed that they remain in custody for two more days.

They were detained at Mtwapa Police Station as investigations continue.

The body of the deceased was cremated in Nairobi on September 6, after his family — based in Austria — gave the consulate the green light to do so.

Police said Mr Roeseler had been in Kenya for barely three weeks. He was invited by Markus, who once lived in Diani, Kwale County, before moving to Mtwapa.

Cases of revellers being drugged are rampant in Mtwapa, the ‘village that never sleeps’, due to its vibrant night life. It has hundreds of clubs that attract tourists from Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.