Pilot arrested as probe into fake Sh39bn arms tender continues
What you need to know:
- Mr Subow Mohamed Ahmed is believed to be a relative of a Kenyan diplomat in a Middle Eastern country.
- Investigators say he represented what the accused men claimed was a senior military officer during a meeting in Poland.
- The scandal was exposed in February when claims surfaced that Echesa had attempted to defraud some Polish nationals.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives have arrested a Kenyan pilot suspected of being part of the fake Sh39 billion military equipment scandal linked to former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa.
Mr Subow Mohamed Ahmed, a pilot with a local aviation company, was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Saturday on the strength of a stop order issued by the DCI Investigations Bureau.
The scandal also involves three other people who have already appeared in court alongside Mr Echesa.
Mr Ahmed is believed to be a relative of a Kenyan diplomat in a Middle Eastern country. The pilot, the Sunday Nation has learnt, was there to test the air force elements of the military equipment.
Investigators say he represented what the accused men claimed was a senior military officer during a meeting in Poland.
Mr Ahmed appears in a photo that features six people — including Mr Echesa, three men of Caucasian descent and another Kenyan — in a room that resembles a firearms warehouse, with two military drones on the floor.
After their visit to Poland, Mr Ahmed did not fly back to Kenya, until yesterday. The arrest comes after DCI boss George Kinoti said anyone linked to the fake arms scandal would be interrogated.
The two foreigners, identified as Mustafa Mamdough and Stanley Kozlowoski, claim to be the directors of American company Eco Advanced Technologies. They say they were conned by a criminal ring led by Mr Echesa.
Mr Mamdough and Mr Kozlowoski told detectives Mr Echesa and the other accused were accompanied by a man who was conversant with aviation matters during their visit to Poland.
The scandal was exposed in February when claims surfaced that Echesa had attempted to defraud some Polish nationals. Police arrested the former CS on February 13 and arraigned him for fraud on February 17, alongside Mr Daniel Otieno Omondi, alias General Juma; Mr Clifford Okoth Onyango, alias Paul; and Mr Kennedy Oyoo Mboya.
The charges preferred against them include conspiracy to commit a felony, making a document without authority, obtaining money by false pretence, and attempt to commit a felony.
According to the prosecution, the accused defrauded Mr Kozilowski and Mr Stanley Bruno of Sh11.5 million, which was part of a down payment for the deal.
The court was told that they pretended to be in a position to award him a contract for the supply and delivery of military equipment to the Ministry of Defence. The offences, the prosecution added, were committed on diverse dates between October 2, 2019 and February 13, 2020.
Investigations into the scandal were complicated by the murder of Sgt Kipyegon Kenei, a police officer who was on duty when Mr Echesa, his accomplices and the two foreigners visited Deputy President William Ruto’s office.
Sgt Kenei was killed before he went to DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road for questioning. His body was found in his house in Imara Daima estate, Nairobi.
On Tuesday, detectives questioned two employees of a telecommunications company after it emerged that they deleted Sgt Kenei’s phone records on the morning of February 19.
The detectives, however, got the records from the servers of the phone service. Mr Kinoti is on record saying Kenei might have been killed by powerful people.