Police unmask alleged top Mombasa narcotics dealer

Thursday, November 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Swaleh Yusuff Ahmed arraigned at Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa yesterday where he is facing drug trafficking charges. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Anti-Narcotics detectives have unmasked a suspected drug lord they believe is heir to multi-billion shillings drugs empire left behind by slain narcotics dealer Ibrahim Akasha and his two sons, Baktash and Ibrahim, who are serving long sentences in US prisons.

Affidavits sworn in court show police linking Mombasa-born Swaleh Yusuf Ahmed alias Kandereni or Candy Rain, to an international drug trafficking syndicate rivalling the Akashas. 

Police say the heavily built Ahmed, believed to be in his late 40s, has in just four years, established a multi-billion drugs empire with both local and international footprints. 

Court documents indicate that Ahmed started as a supplier, or courier, in narcotics circles, in 2010, and at one time was jailed for 25 years for trafficking five kilogrammes of heroin. He, however, successfully appealed the sentence at a Mombasa court and was acquitted for lack of evidence. 

He was also charged at the Mombasa Law Courts in 2011 and 2013 with trafficking drugs, but was acquitted in both cases.

 Intelligence reports reveal Ahmed worked as a matatu driver in Kisauni and Bamburi areas before he was recruited by a Mombasa-based drug baron to peddle Rohypnol tablets commonly known as Buguzi. As his trade started to thrive and grow beyond the borders, he soon found himself on the wrong side of the law, resulting in several police arrests. 

On September 18 he was arrested in connection with a 92-kg heroin haul with an estimated street value of more than Sh300 million, one of the biggest recoveries in the country.

Drugs were recovered in a house in Kikambala by Anti-Narcotics Trafficking Police.  Sworn affidavit tabled before Shanzu Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda by an investigator attached to DCI and Anti-Narcotics Unit Patrick Mugambi, Ahmed owns several houses and lives in the upscale Kanamai in Kilifi county from where police believe he runs several mini-buses to conceal his illicit trad.

 Last Friday Ahmed, alongside his wife Asma Abdallah Mohamed and Susan Mukonya, were charged with trafficking narcotics and money laundering.

Wrong side

 “In consideration of the character and antecedents of the accused person, we are apprehensive that the suspects, if released on bond will continue to commit similar offences. One of the suspects is a high-ranking notorious drug trafficker, suspected to have taken over the drug trade in the region and globally,” he said.

 Mugambi informed the court that the crime is transnational, involving a syndicate operating between Kenya and foreign countries.  According to Mugambi, Ahmed had amassed immense wealth, majority of which was registered in the names of his accomplices, family and friends.

 Towards expanding his drugs empire, Ahmed has roped in Tanzanian drug lord Masuo Bakari, who is on Interpol red alert.

Ahmed and Bakari are married to sisters, Asmah Abdalla and Halima Abdala Bakari.

“We need to get a report from financial investigation agencies and MPesa registered agents believed to be registered in the names of the accused persons, so as to establish the extent of the money laundering, “he told court.  Ahmed’s wife operates several MPesa outlets in Mombasa.  

At the time of his arrest last Thursday, Ahmed had expanded his drug empire and was in the process of receiving a big consignment. Detectives are apprehensive that if released on bond, he will interfere with ongoing investigations and efforts to recover the consignment.

The court yesterday ordered that he be detained for 21 days to allow police complete investigations.  In his ruling, the magistrate noted that part of ongoing probe was based on intelligence reports, and that he did not expect police to divulge key information concerning the same.

Across borders

 “I am aware that offences of drug trafficking and money laundering can be across national borders and usually involve a syndicate,” said Shikanda.

He continued: “ It is not unusual that police would want to extend their investigations beyond Kenya, for instance, where property is to be followed up it may be necessary to restrain the suspects for a while, having considered the affidavits and submissions by the parties am convinced on a balance of probabilities that further investigations are to be conducted. If accused are released at this point in time, investigations are likely to be jeopardised.” 

He is currently detained at Shimo La Tewa Prison with the matter will be mentioned on December 2.

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