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US court to sentence Ibrahim Akasha

Friday November 8 2019

Ibrahim Akasha, alongside his co-accused, is

Ibrahim Akasha, alongside his co-accused, is arraigned at a Mombasa court on January 13, 2017 for being involved in a fight in Kisauni. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VINCENT ACHUKA
By VINCENT ACHUKA
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KEVIN J. KELLEY
By KEVIN J. KELLEY
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An American court will issue a ruling that could finally dim the lights for Kenya’s most notorious drug trafficking family, when Mr Ibrahim Akasha is brought for sentencing three months after his brother Baktash was handed a 25-year jail term.

Ibrahim, who has already confessed to multiple charges of drug trafficking and obstructing justice by bribing numerous Kenyan officials to evade justice, had during mitigation asked for a lighter sentence, saying he should not be punished for his brother's crimes.

He could get between 10 years and life imprisonment based on the severity of his crimes, but since his brother was given a 25-year sentence, it is likely Ibrahim will get an almost similar sentence.

Ahead of the sentencing, the prosecution has urged Presiding Judge Victor Marrero to hand Ibrahim a prison sentence similar to the 25-year term that the same judge meted out on Baktash in August.

They added that Ibrahim should also be hit with a fine “greatly in excess of the $50,000 (Ksh5,143,000) minimum” included in federal court sentencing guidelines.

PLEAD GUILTY

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However, while sentencing Baktash in August, Justice Marrero said he would not impose the maximum term of life imprisonment sought by prosecutors due in part to mitigating factors that his lawyers had outlined during the case.

Both brothers opted out of a lengthy trial process by pleading guilty to their crimes and asking for lighter sentences in return.

Baktash and Ibrahim, who are sons to late drug baron Ibrahim Akasha, admitted to attempting to smuggle 99kg of heroin to the US and obstructing justice by bribing Kenyan officials.

Their father ran one of the biggest drug empires in East Africa at some point and was untouchable for several decades.

He was shot in the year 2000 while walking on a street in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His death sparked a feud among his family members over the distribution of his property, which still runs to date.

SUCCESSORS

The brothers took over the business after the death of their other brother Kamaldin and managed to rebuild it using their family’s old networks.

From Mombasa, they were able to supply narcotics to the US, India and most countries in Africa.

During their trial, Ibrahim confessed in March 2006 that one of the infamous Artur brothers, Margaryan, used his Mercedes Benz.