Turk at centre of Ruto Uganda trip faces court

Monday, August 9th, 2021 00:00 |
William Ruto’s close ally Oscar Sudi (Kapseret MP) with Turkish nationals outside at the anti-terrorism Nairobi Offices along Ngong’ Road where Harun Aydin had been detained last week. Photo/COURTESY

The Turkish national in the drama surrounding the aborted trip by Deputy President William Ruto to Uganda, spent the second night in custody as officials sought to establish his alleged links to terror, money laundering, immigration status and suspicious trips in the country.

Harun Aydin was arrested at the Wilson Airport immediately he landed in the country and was later handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit detectives. He had been in Uganda since August 2.

The developments come as a section of ODM lawmakers want Ruto to come clean on his ties with Aydin. DP allies have described Aydin as an investor in fruit farming.

Led by Uriri MP Mark Nyamita, the MPs also want the DP to be investigated over allegations of money laundering.

While inviting the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), Nyamita said the issue of Aydin has nothing to do with investment in Uganda.

“We ask our investigative agencies to probe all the individuals involved in the saga because it is a clear case of money laundering,” he told congregants at the Church of God Ministries Kangemi, Nairobi on Sunday.

Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, who chairs the National Assembly Finance Committee said that she will be calling on the Kenya Revenue Authority to provide  her team  with investment details of this  ‘investor’ including amounts he has paid in taxes for the period he has been doing the alleged fruit farming in the country.

He is expected to be arraigned today to answer charges ranging from money laundering and financing terror activities in the country. He has been detrained since Saturday.

While in custody, he was grilled over his immigration status, work permit and the commercial activities he is involved in.

“The interrogation seeks to unravel the truth behind some of his suspicious trips in the country,” an official said.

The suspect was arrested together with a Ugandan national- Paul Bamutaze, who was immediately deported to Uganda by road. Bamutaze, a businessman, sued ODM legislators including Junet Mohammed, John Mbadi, Opiyo Wandayi, Caleb Amisi, Jared Okello, Anthony Otieno, Fatima Abdi and Millie Odhiambo, for allegedly disparaging Uganda’s National Resistance Movement.

“You don’t attack the person of the President of Uganda, you don’t attack the ruling political party because you want to make news, that can turn out to be a serious diplomatic blunder,” said Bamutaze.

Reports indicate Aydin was to be deported yesterday but Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was unavailable to sign the deportation papers.

Detectives and Immigration officials said there was need to further investigate the activities of Aydin with officials saying his passport shows he exited twice from Kenya but there is no entry stamp.

DP Ruto has defended the Aydin, saying the government was unfairly targeting investors associated with him.

“Turkish investor, Aydin, is a victim of top-down arrogance bred by patronage and cartels that criminalise enterprise,” Ruto tweeted.

Aydin is aid to be running a company known as Unit 2HA Investment Energy Africa Ltd and was issued with a work permit by the Kenya’s Immigration department on June 30. The permit is expected to expire on June 29, 2023.

Aydin was among the six people who were to accompany DP Ruto to Uganda last week on a private visit.

Others in the trip included MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Oscar Sudi (Kapsaret), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), Mombasa-based businessman David Lang’at, Elijah Rono and Eric Ruto.

Lawyers, businessmen and politicians on Saturday camped at the ATPU offices seeking to see  Aydin.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi took to Twitter claiming that he had been denied access to his client.

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