Relatives of the two Akasha brothers extradited to the US and jailed for drug trafficking are still battling in court to recover property worth millions deposited in a Kenyan court as sureties.
Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla and Baktash Akasha Abdalla are sons of the drug baron Ibrahim Akasha, who was shot dead in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, in May 2000.
Court records show that two properties used as securities in exchange for freedom for Ibrahim and Baktash in 2015 are yet to be released to those who stood surety for the brothers before they were released from custody.
The court proceedings indicate that Mr Nurdin Akasha, their half-brother, is yet to get back the title deed for his property, which he used to secure freedom for Ibrahim.
According to the records, Nurdin deposited a title deed for his plot valued at Sh30 million, the bond terms set for Ibrahim by the High Court.
The two brothers were extradited to New York, USA, alongside foreigners Gulam Hussein (Pakistani) and Vijaygiri Goswami (Indian) on January 28, 2017, where drug and arms trafficking charges were awaiting them.
A similar request was also made by a relative of the Akashas, Mr Adil Nazaf Daud, who deposited his title deed in court when he stood surety for Goswami.
Goswami’s whereabouts remain unknown after he was extradited to the US and later turned into a prosecution witness.
At the time, the three-drug traffickers were trying to stop their extradition from Kenya to the US.
Ibrahim was in January last year jailed for 23 years after pleading guilty to trafficking in heroin and methamphetamine in the US, amongst other crimes.
His brother Baktash was handed 25 years in jail by the United States District Court of New York on August 16, 2019.
Mr Nurdin and Mr Daud’s argument is that since the two brothers have been extradited, convicted, and jailed in the US, they are no longer under any obligation to ensure their attendance to the Kenyan court as prescribed in the bond terms.
The applicants have also informed the court that their duty of ensuring that the accused attend court until the trial is concluded has been overtaken by events and hence cannot logically be expected to undertake any duty in relation to the convict.
“I have faithfully carried out my duties as surety of Ibrahim and prior to his extradition, I had ensured he was always in court,” Mr Nurdin Akasha said.
Their application is based on Section 128 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows a surety to apply for the discharge of the bond at any time.
“In this particular case, I strongly believe that the court should allow my prayer since Ibrahim is in prison and convicted in the US. I, therefore, seek to discharge my property for my personal use,” said Mr Nurdin
Mr Nurdin lamented that the fact that his title documents are still being held by the court had greatly prejudiced him since it had denied him his right to the property.
Documents tabled by a detective from the Anti-Narcotics Police Unit, Mr Joseph Wafula, indicate that the property he is seeking to recover is not liable for forfeiture.
Assets Recovery Agency
“Upon completion of investigations by the Assets Recovery Agency, it was found that the title certificate in respect of L.R no 5975(original no 5679/3) is not in any way liable for forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act. It will then be restituted to the applicant,” Mr Wafula said in an affidavit.
However, the investigator said some of the properties are under investigation to establish whether they are proceeds of crime or not.
Following their jailing in the US, the state has already filed a case to seize properties worth billions of shillings including palatial homes, which it argues belong to the convicts.
The properties include a beach house in Nyali, Mombasa, eight gold chains, four high-end vehicles, firearms and assets of unknown value located in Mombasa and Nairobi.
The state claims that the properties are liable to forfeiture by the Assets Recovery Agency under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act section 23 and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No 4 of 1994 and National Police Service Act.
In their 2018 confessions, the Akashas stated that they paid more than Sh400 million to policemen, judges, powerful politicians and other government bureaucrats to protect the drug empire they inherited from their father.