Businesswoman Joyce Akinyi arrested again, heroin found

Saturday July 13 2019

Nairobi businesswoman Joyce Akinyi

Controversial Nairobi businesswoman Joyce Akinyi who arrested yet again on the night of July 12, 2019 after police found her with heroin worth Sh3 million. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANITA CHEPKOECH
By ANITA CHEPKOECH
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Controversial Nairobi businesswoman Joyce Akinyi has yet again been arrested by anti-narcotics police for allegedly having two kilogrammes of heroin.

Reports indicated that Ms Akinyi and a Congolese national were arrested in Nairobi West in the wee hours of Friday by detectives who had been trailing her.

Police trailed the trader following numerous reports that she was still involved in the drugs business despite previous arrests and pending court cases.

They said the heroin they found was worth Sh3 million.

Ms Akinyi was taken to the cells at Muthaiga Police Station, a detention centre she is all too familiar with, as she has been apprehended three times before on allegations of drug trafficking.

FAKE PASSPORTS

Informers said that during the arrest, Ms Akinyi was found with Congolese passports bearing her photos but with different names and nationalities.

One had the name Eveline Kambere, with the birth place as Goma, Congo. In the photo of Ms Akinyi in this document, her hair had been shaved off.

A second passport has the name Marline Kambuba Mape with the same birth place but in it, Ms Akinyi in in a weave with blonde edges.

PUBLIC SQUABBLES

Ms Akinyi came into the limelight after she was involved in multiple public squabbles with her estranged husband, notorious Nigerian businessman Antony Chinedu.

The parents of the two, who formalised their marriage in 2004, owned the popular Deep West Restaurant off Nairobi’s Lang’ata Road among other investments.

Three years later, the Nigerian moved to court seeking to divorce Ms Akinyi over cruelty, adultery and desertion of their marital home.

Mr Chinedu, who had been in the country for 15 years, shot into the limelight in 2008 as a wealthy but esoteric tycoon embroiled in a bitter battle for property worth millions of shillings with Ms Akinyi.

In his suit, the Nigerian accused the then Budalang'i MP Raphael Wanjala of flirting with his estranged wife and annexing his Sh300 million property, claims that the legislator denied.

The acrimony between the couple played out as an embarrassing case of love gone sour with Ms Akinyi at one point referring to Mr Chinedu as a “drug lord wanted in Pakistan” and warning him that he would eventually be defeated.

INDIA ARREST

In October 2008, Mr Wanjala and Ms Akinyi were arrested at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport on allegations that they were part of a money laundering racket.

Police found the equivalent of Sh7.5 million in US dollars on them. India requires one to declare amounts of money above Sh375,000.

What made matters worse for the two was that when they tried to feed the details of Ms Akinyi’s travel documents into prison computers, they did not match those supplied by Kenyan authorities, raising suspicion that she was travelling under an alias.

After further investigation, police in New Delhi established that Ms Akinyi and Mr Wanjala had left Kenya through Uganda and flown to India from Dubai aboard an Emirates fligh.

They also established had indeed been using a passport bearing another name.

After a month’s stay in prison, Indian authorities cancelled the bail the two were granted took them back to Tihar Prison, India’s second largest, where they stayed for five months before Nairobi intervened.

CHINEDU DEPORTED

Mr Wanjala, suddenly thrust into the limelight, stepped out of the shadows and declared his love for Ms Akinyi.

The courts had no option but to grant Ms Chinedu his prayers and Ms Akinyi went straight into the MP's arms.

Back in Kenya, Mr Chinedu took advantage of their absence to fight for the full custody of their two children.

He went to court, arguing there was no one to look after the children he claimed were being mistreated by the house help.

However, the walls started caving in on the Nigerian in April 2013 when he was arrested and charged with being in possession of 10 grams of a narcotic substance.

As his case dragged on in court, President Uhuru Kenyatta, announcing a no-nonsense approach by his government to narcotics, ordered the deportation of all foreigners suspected of engaging in drug trafficking. 

Mr Chinedu was deported to Nigeria in June 2013 on suspicion of being a drug trafficker.

MORE TROUBLE

In 2013, Ms Akinyi and Mr Wanjala were arrested in Isinya along Nairobi-Namanga highway on claims of drug trafficking.

They were released after insisting they were carrying maize flour that they had imported from Tanzania.

In 2015, detectives once again arrested Ms Akinyi and three others after finding them with a suspicious powder but they were later released.