18 September 2004

Kenya: The 13 Kenyans Most Wanted By Interpol

Nairobi — Thirteen Kenyans on Interpol's list of the world's most wanted fugitives were named yesterday.

They include the former head of Kenya Pipeline, Dr Linus Cheruiyot, the London-based "miracle babies" preacher - self-styled Archbishop Gilbert Deya - plus two runaway lawyers and a banker.

Four Ugandans also appear on the list: wanted by Kenya police for their part in a car theft syndicate. The CID, through the Interpol office in Nairobi, has already sent extradition requests detailing the crimes the 13 Kenyans and four Ugandans are alleged to have committed, in Kenya.

The 17 are wanted for a variety of frauds, child trafficking, vehicle thefts and financial swindles, police said.

They committed the crimes between 2002 and this year and fled when they knew they were being investigated by the police.

The two lawyers on the list are Mr Mathew Ndung'u Kimani, wanted for allegedly stealing a client's money, and Mr David Mwenda Kimbui, who, it is claimed, attacked a woman and then skipped bail.

Wanted in addition are four members of a family who are accused of swindling a travel agent by emigrating to the US without paying in full for their tickets, and banker Abbas Azfar who allegedly stole Sh11.9 million from customers' accounts.

Businessman Abdikarim Jama Mohammed and tour operator Mansurali Fazal Samji Tejani are also wanted back in Kenya, as are Mr Ndegwa Githu and Mr Natatali Kuiyaki Mbogho, who are being sought for the vehicle syndicate along with the four Ugandans: Mr Kabuye Moses, Mr Mayanya Farouk, Mr Mutebi Yasin and Mr Mamadu Paiba.

CID chief Joseph Kamau said they were getting good responses from the countries where the extradition papers had been sent.

"We successfully extradited many other criminals and we believe it's just a matter of time before we get those still out there," he said.

Extradition papers for former Pipeline managing director Linus Cheruiyot were sent to the US on April 30 after he jumped bail while facing a Sh339 million fraud case.

Nairobi chief magistrate Aggrey Muchelule ordered his arrest, in March, when he failed to appear in court.

His lawyers told the court Dr Cheruiyot had travelled to the US to visit his family.

He had travelled secretly since his bail conditions required him to remain in Kenya until the case was over, prosecutors told the court.

Archbishop Gilbert Deya was charged with child theft, in his absence, on September 2.

A warrant for his arrest was issued on the same day, setting in motion a process that will eventually see him extradited to face the charges.

The Attorney-General's office is in the final stages of filing extradition papers to the United Kingdom, where the preacher has been for the last two years.

The leader of the Gilbert Deya Ministries, he was named by Kenyan authorities who are investigating the theft and trafficking of children.

Mr Deya's wife, Mrs Mary Deya, appeared in court, in Nairobi, this week, along with another British woman and three other people who all claim they gave birth through the power of prayer.

Police commissioner Mohammed Hussein Ali yesterday said detectives were preparing to get Mr Deya back to Kenya for interrogation and dismissed his allegation that police intended to kill him as "outrageous and childish".

Said Major-Gen Ali: "He can rave and rant, pour accusations at us as much as he wants. What we know is that he still has questions to answer and we'll pursue him to whichever country he goes, however long it takes. We have a case."

The couple and their two children accused of swindling a travel agent before they flew to the United States are Mr Salim Githiomi, his wife Elizabeth and their children, Monalisa and Papa.

It is claimed they told the agent they were going for a short visit to the US and asked for tickets valued Sh434,000 on credit on Christmas Eve, 2002, according to extradition documents sent to the US government.

They paid a deposit of Sh50,000 and promised to pay the balance when they returned.

Unknown to the agent, Mr Githiomi had meanwhile sold his home and was planning to settle in the US, Interpol said.

The case was reported by the travel agent to Nairobi CID after it was established the family had indeed disposed of their property in Kenya.

The investigators went to court on March 8, 2003, and obtained warrants of arrest against the family.

The Interpol office in Nairobi forwarded extradition documents to the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs for transmission to the US, last month.

Lawyer Mathew Ndung'u Kimani is alleged to have fled to Britain after stealing his client's money.

The client told police he wanted to buy a Sh2.8 million house in Buru Buru estate, Nairobi, and appointed the lawyer to be his agent.

Documents with the Interpol showed that the man made a down payment of Sh900,000 to the house seller and obtained a bank loan of Sh1.9 million for the balance. He handed the cheque to his lawyer to deposit in his client account.

It is alleged the lawyer then withdrew Sh448,000 and fled to the UK when police launched investigations.

A warrant of arrest was issued against Mr Kimani on August 18, 2002 and his extradition papers have been forwarded to London.

The other wanted lawyer, Mr David Mwenda Kimbui - who was serving a five-year jail term for assaulting a woman - slipped out of Kenya in 2000 after he lodged an appeal and pleaded with the court to grant him bail on medical grounds.

He was jailed for slitting the woman's stomach with a kitchen knife and then locking her in the house, thinking she would die. However rescuers rushed her to hospital and she survived.

Mr Kimbui spent a month in Kamiti prison before he was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital.

After appealing against the sentence, he tried several times to be released on bail, but the request was rejected.

However he was later given a Sh20,000 bond on medical grounds... and that was the last time the lawyer appeared in court.

The magistrate issued a warrant against him when he failed to turn up three times.

Interpol suspect he fled to either South Africa or Zimbabwe.

Banker Abbas Azfar, the chief manager of Fidelity Commercial Bank, was accused of stealing Sh11.9 million from customers' accounts.

The Central Bank of Kenya's fraud unit asked Interpol to help arrest him, saying he stole the money from three fixed accounts held in his branch, in Nairobi, between July and August 2003.

Police obtained a warrant of arrest after it was established that he fled to Karachi, Pakistan, on November 15, 2003.

Businessman Abdikarim Jama Mohammed is being sought by Interpol in Dubai over allegations that he swindled eight other businessmen in Namanga Town of a total of Sh21.5 million between July 15 and 20, this year.

Papers indicting Mr Mohammed say he was a prominent businessman in Namanga, owning several shops and a fleet of trucks.

He is alleged to have entered into a deal with his fellow traders to carry goods from Nairobi in his trucks and police say he collected money from the eight businessmen and drove to Nairobi on July 28, saying he was going to buy their goods.

Instead, he flew to Dubai through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and there are no indications he will return.

Officers from Namanga police station filed charges against Mr Mohammed last month and they were issued with a warrant of arrest.

Attorney General Amos Wako has already accepted a request from the Interpol to have him repatriated from Dubai.

Mr Mansurali Fazal Samji Tejani, the proprietor of Inbound Tours and Safaris Ltd, is reported to have gone to a forex bureau in Nairobi city centre in May 2003 and said he wanted to buy $100,000 to travel to America with his family.

He issued the bureau with his company cheques and he was given the money. But only cheques worth $50,000 were cleared by the bank and the rest were rejected because the account was then empty.

Investigators say the bureau nonetheless gave the balance to Mr Tejani after he wrote post-dated cheques. But the cheques were not honoured by the bank because Mr Tejani's account was by then in the red and he had closed his company before leaving for the US.

The forex bureau reported the matter to CID officers at Central police station. The police obtained a warrant of arrest against Mr Tejani on April 30 and forwarded his file to the AG for the extradition process.

Mr Natatali Kuiyaki Mbogho and Mr Ndegwa Githu and the four Ugandans are wanted by the Kenyan police after they were implicated in an elaborate syndicate of stealing vehicles in Kenya and taking them to Uganda and Tanzania.

Mr Mbogho and Ugandans Moses, Farouk, Yasin and Paiba smuggled stolen vehicles to Uganda, police said.

Mr Githu is in Tanzania custody and he is awaiting extradition to Kenya. The police successfully applied for a warrant of arrest on March 17.

Tanzania police found him with a Nissan pick-up truck, which had been stolen at gun point from a driver in Athi River Town on June 20, 2003.

Police said the driver was heading to Nairobi from Namanga when he was blocked by the gunmen in a lorry. The gang stole money from the driver before they dumped him in the bush.

Police said Mr Githu was arrested in Mwanza Town as he tried to sell the stolen vehicle.

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