alexa How Baktash Akasha’s wife was conned Sh5m - Daily Nation

How Baktash Akasha’s wife was conned Sh5m

Friday September 20 2019

Baktash Akasha

Baktash Akasha Abdalla at the High Court in Mombasa during the hearing of an extradition case against him on June 20, 2016. He is serving a 25-year jail term in the US after he was sentenced on August 16, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRIAN OCHARO
By BRIAN OCHARO
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Detectives have arrested a suspect who allegedly conned the family of the jailed drug baron Baktash Akasha Sh5 million pretending that he could help them return the Akasha brothers from the US, where they are facing drug trafficking charges. 

Police say Chris Mwai Ngweti fraudulently prepared letters purporting to have originated from Office of the President, Foreign Affairs ministry and the US Drug Enforcement Administration authorising the return of Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha from the US.

IN COURT

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect and others still at large, acting as State House agents, approached Baktash’s wife, Ms Najma Juma Hassan, and promised to secure the Akasha’s return from the US after paying a Sh5.1 million.

Mr Ngweti, whom the police have since arrested, was on Thursday arraigned before Shanzu Senior Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo and denied two counts of conspiracy to defraud and commit a felony.

In the first count, the suspect is accused jointly with conspiracy to commit a felony by obtaining money by pretence between October 9, 2018 and November 15, 2018.

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The second count reads that the suspect jointly with others not before the court conspired with intent to defraud by pretending to be a State House agent.

Mr Ngweti, who is claimed to be a pastor at a local church in Shanzu, denied the charges.

He was released on a Sh1 million cash bail or on an alternative bond of Sh2 million.

State Counsel Rosemary Nandi did not oppose the suspect’s plea for bond.

JAIL TERM

Mr Baktash is serving a 25-year jail term in the US after he was sentenced on August 16.

His younger brother, Ibrahim, is awaiting his jail sentence on November 8.

The pastor is reported to have linked Ms Hassan with Mr Stephen Nzioka who was to further link her with the State House to meet  President Uhuru Kenyatta over the fate of her husband and brother-in-law who are facing drug trafficking charges in the US.

After she was linked with Mr Nzioka , the woman told the police that they travelled together to Nairobi where they were to meet Mr Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma.

The president and the CS were to help in facilitating the return of the Akashas, the allaged fraudsters had claimed.

Upon reaching Nairobi, Mr Nzioka demanded Sh500,000 from the woman, who was accompanied by her daughter Hayat Akasha.

He told her that the money would be given to State House comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua to facilitate a meeting with Mr Kenyatta, whom she was told had other engagements.

FAKE LETTERS

Mr Nzioka then asked for another Sh500,000 that would be handed over to Foreign Affairs office to help the issuance of the letter that would facilitate the extradition process.

The woman was later handed an unsigned and unstamped letter allegedly drawn by CS Juma.

She was also handed letters purportedly signed  by Mr Mbugua.

Ms Hassan was also given another forged letter alleged to have come from from United States Drug Enforcement Administration and signed by Mr Abdalla, whom she was told had been instructed by the president to handle her case.

The letter, she told the police, was signed by a Mr McRae and also copied to President Kenyatta.

After paying millions of money to Mr Nzioka, the woman said he could disappear and show up occasionally with an assurance that all was well and that her husband and brother-in-law would return home soon.

According to the woman, her last communication with Mr Nzioka was that the Akashas would return home after four days , but that is yet to happen.

The woman told the police that she never met the president, the Foreign Affairs CS or Mr Mbugua for the many days she stayed in Nairobi.

The case will be mentioned on November 14.