Phone clue in missing billionaire’s case leads to wife’s arrest

What you need to know:

  • Location of worker gives fresh impetus to investigations into tycoon’s disappearance.

  • The puzzle detectives are trying to solve now is where Mr Cohen’s body is, and who else was involved.

  • Mr Cohen also disappeared days after his wife wrote a letter to the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi saying that her husband required medical attention.

The triangulation of a mobile phone that showed the location of a worker who had been fired from Mr Tob Cohen’s house days before the billionaire disappeared cracked open investigations that had almost gone cold, leading to the arrest of the golf tycoon’s wife.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) was Thursday allowed to hold Mr Cohen’s wife, Ms Sarah Wairimu, until Monday, when a ruling will be made regarding how many days they can continue holding her as they continue investigating the billionaire’s disappearance.


A ruling will also be made on whether the couple’s house in Kitisuru will be considered a crime scene.

Detectives now believe that Mr Cohen, who disappeared on July 19, was murdered, and that his wife had something to do with it. The puzzle detectives are trying to solve now is where Mr Cohen’s body is, and who else was involved.

“She is the prime suspect,” said DCI boss George Kinoti of Ms Wairimu.

At the heart of investigations are two letters alleged to have been written by Mr Cohen, one to the police withdrawing assault charges he had filed against Ms Wairimu, and another to his lawyer from Judy Thongori & Co Advocates, withdrawing a divorce case.

Sources say the letters have already been taken to forensic experts for authentication.

Mr Cohen also disappeared days after his wife wrote a letter to the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi saying that her husband required medical attention.

Days later, she told friends and the media that Mr Cohen had left the country for Thailand to seek treatment. But she has never revealed whether Mr Cohen was accompanied by anyone on the supposed trip.


Police are also investigating an entry into the Occurrence Book (OB) at Kilimani Police Station, which shows that Cohen was also reported missing at the same time. It is alleged that Ms Wairimu filed the report.

Police are also interrogating Mr Cohen’s workers, who had initially told investigators that Mr Cohen, who had a briefcase and was wearing blue jeans, was picked up by a white car on the afternoon of July 20, never to be seen again.

But sources close to the investigations say it has been deduced from phone records that the two were not in the vicinity at the time they purported to have seen Mr Cohen leaving.

“One of them does not even work during weekends,” said our source, “while the other had been away for a while.”

It is these chains of lies that prompted the police to interrogate the two some more.

“They have given detectives a lot of leads,” said a close source.

Detectives now want to find out whether the workers were coached to lie – which is an offence – or whether they spun the tale about Mr Cohen’s departure in a white car.

Upon realising that their lies had been discovered, the workers told the police that Ms Wairimu had instructed them what to tell the detectives.


Thereafter, the detectives felt they should also call her back for further questioning on Wednesday morning. 

But they changed their mind and decided to go for her at her Kitisuru home in the afternoon.

Curiously, police discovered that the CCTV cameras in the couple’s compound had been replaced just a day after the billionaire went missing, which made it difficult to know whether he had left alone or whether somebody came for him.

Why Ms Wairimu decided to replace the CCTV system in the compound is the big question.

It has also emerged that Mr Cohen had, five days before his disappearance, written to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Noordin Haji, asking him to investigate senior officers at the Gigiri Police Division, whom he accused of covering up his wife’s hostilities towards him.

It has further emerged that Mr Cohen had discovered that his wife was secretly developing some property in Nyeri and was not happy about it.

“Unless your offices act speedily and accordingly, our client will continue to suffer humiliation, discrimination and persecution because he is not a Kenyan national, which is wrong, distasteful and unfortunate,” said the billionaire’s lawyer, Musyoki Mogaka and Co Advocates, in a letter sent on July 12.


“My client is astonished at the manner in which the law is being applied to his disadvantage since no step has been taken by police officers at the Parklands Police Station to prosecute Wairimu, despite enough evidence demonstrating her guilt,” said Mr Cohen.

The billionaire’s lawyer, Mr Danstan Omari, yesterday told the Nation that his client had been anxious about his security in the weeks preceding his disappearance. He added that Mr Cohen was also troubled that Ms Wairimu was trying to get him arrested.

“He was very anxious because of the legal cases he was facing, and he also knew that his life was in danger,” said Mr Omari.


Fresh details show Mr Cohen, who had filed for divorce from his wife, had also filed an assault complaint against her at the Parklands Police Station in February after they had a fight.

But Ms Wairimu also filed an assault complaint at the Mwimuto Police post, which is next to Kitisuru, the same night.

In a video posted by Ms Wairimu on YouTube, which the Nation has seen, Ms Wairimu paints her husband as a cruel man with alcohol and substance abuse issues.

The video gives a peek into the marriage that, until last month, seemed to be made in paradise.


“Tob is not a young man. He is going to be 70 soon. He is a chain-smoker and that is slowing him down. And for a long time Tob has been abusing substances. That is why, unknown to many, he had all this aggression and couldn’t handle situations,” says Ms Wairimu in the video posted on August 9, some 20 days after the billionaire disappeared.

In the clip, she also alleges that their problems began on December 18 last year during a traditional wedding for her daughter, when Mr Cohen suddenly lost his cool and started shouting that he was going to divorce her in front of guests.

She adds that he got so drunk at the function that he started soliciting for sex from her daughter’s friends.

“In my backyard. There we are, and he started soliciting for sex from my daughter’s girlfriends and boys,” says Ms Wairimu.

“Does he have a history, like is he bisexual or something?” a male voice in the video interrogating Ms Wairimu then asks before she replies, “You know in Holland that is normal.”

Then a few days later, Ms Wairimu says, she returned home and found a safe in their house had been broken into, only for police to call her a few days later asking for a title deed that was in the safe but had gone missing.

“On Christmas Day, I got a call from the Spring Valley Police Station and the caller asked me where the title deed for the house was, and I told the caller that the safe had been broken into,” she says.