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Why Ruto sneaked out of the country on Thursday

Why Ruto sneaked out of the country on Thursday

By John Kamau, Editor, thingira.org (Email:thingiragema@gmail.com)

On Thursday, June 9, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto cut short his presidential campaigns in Northern Kenya and jetted out of the country 'on short notice.”

Ruto left the country immediately after President Uhuru Kenyatta jetted to Mogadishu, Somali.

President Kenyatta was in Mogadishu to witness the inauguration of Somalia’s new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Ruto was expected to campaign in Marsabit and Isiolo on Thursday before embarking on another tour of Laikipia on Saturday but abruptly left the country leaving his followers confused.

Insiders revealed Ruto’s destination was Uganda and also wanted to go to Nigeria and Turkey, three countries he has stashed billions of shillings looted from state coffers.

In Nigeria, the mission was to meet three nationals he used to launder Sh25.6 billion between October and November 2020.

The cash movement involved over 10 companies owned by the same individuals and registered under near-identical names in Kenya, Dubai, US, Nigeria and Ghana.

This came to light after the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) seized Sh5.6 billion Ruto had wired to the country through proxies for use in the August 9 General Election campaigns.

Ruto has been using his son-in-law, Alexander Ezenagu, a Nigerian national and former Nigeria vice-president, Atiku Abubakar to launder money to Kenya for use in the campaigns and that explains the reason he sneaked to Nigeria.

The two have through Kenyans and Nigerian proxies opened bank accounts in Kenya and Uganda which they use to withdraw large sums of money for onward transmission to the Deputy President.

But security agents, in collaboration with Interpol, have been following Ezenagu and Abubakar’s money trail locally and internationally and have established the identities of the proxies in Kenya and Uganda.

The proxies used include directors of Avalon Offshore who are Nigerians Jeffrey Nnaoma Michaels and Uduma Okoro Christopher Kalu.

The said company was registered in November 2020 and has its address in Westlands.

Kalu and Nnaoma are listed as directors of the company, with Kalu holding 1,600 ordinary shares while the rest are owned by his partner.

Nnaoma is also listed as a director of several companies registered in Nigeria, including a forex bureau.

The post office number of the two Nigerians was linked to several firms that operate from the 13th floor of the prestigious Delta Corner office block in Westlands.

The investigators found OIT Africa had Sh4.8 billion in two Equity accounts and one in UBA but could not explain the source of the money.

Other proxies are directors of OIT Africa who are Kenyans, Vionnah Akoth Odongo and Kenneth Odongo Raminya, who have 500 shares each.

 The OIT Africa was registered on July 14, 2017, raising eyebrows on the nature of business it does.

OIT Africa claims it operates from 680 Plaza, the building that hosts the 680 Hotel but its mobile number is registered under the name of a different person, who denied knowledge of OIT Africa and Ms Odongo and Raminya when called by journalists.

Avalon Offshore Logistics had Sh43.5

million in two Equity accounts, while

Remix Capital, which is a ghost company, had Sh765 million in one UBA account. The two firms were unable to show the source of the funds.

The Deputy President’s eldest daughter, June, married Ezenagu mid last year in a lavish ceremony in Nairobi.

In Turkey, Ruto was to meet the mysterious Turkish national, Harun Aydin.

While details of their meeting are scanty, Aydin is the figure the Deputy President was using to launder money and is believed to have stashed billions of shillings in Turkey on behalf of Ruto.

It is to be recalled that in January the anti-corruption court allowed Ruto’s chief funds mobiliser, businesswoman Mary Wambui Mungai to travel to Turkey allegedly to purchase furniture for a hotel she is putting up in Nairobi.

But the purchase of furniture was an excuse as Wambui went to Turkey to meet Aydin to organise bank transfers to Ugandan Bank.

It is to be recalled that when Aydin was detained by police on allegations of terrorism financing and money laundering, Ruto was the first to defend him as an investor.

He tweeted: “Turkish investor, Aydin Harun is a victim of top-down arrogance bred by patronage and cartels that criminalise enterprise. Importers’ goods declared contraband, Africa spirits closed, Keroche harassed, now investor with valid papers labeled terrorist. Tragedy of political pettiness”.

 

Aydin was part of a criminal network Ruto was assembling to cause mayhem if he loses the presidential race in the 2022 General Election.

Others in the criminal enterprise Ruto is assembling includes Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro who is in charge of the money laundering unit. Nyoro is a financial expert.

Others are Benjamin Tayari, Fred Kapondi, Rashid Echesa and Oscar Sudi.

Already, a transcript of the interrogation of a Lebanese national arrested at Entebbe International Airport, Uganda, on 17th July 2019 under suspicion of participating in a criminal plot shows how Uhuru would have been assassinated by a criminal enterprise headed by Ruto.

The interrogation conducted by Uganda’s Deputy Inspector on 2nd July 2019 and done in accordance with United Nations Standard Minimum Rules on the treatment of detainees and prisoners saw the Lebanese national expose a plot to kill Uhuru.

In the transcript, the Lebanese national reveals he was intercepted at Entebbe International Airport as he planned to execute a mission of eliminating Uhuru.

The Lebanese national told the sleuths he had been provided with two passports, a fake one he was to use in case the mission aborted and he had to sneak to Kenya where a prominent figure was to facilitate his way to Sudan.

He said there is a safe house in Atbara, Sudan where he was to meet Osama Abdelatiff alias Daoud who was the key man in the mission.

The Lebanese national added that Daoud had dispatched him to Kampala where he was to link up with Aydin.

He told the sleuths Daoud had arranged a meeting with a client in Uganda but he (Daoud) was not able to travel and instead sent him.

He said the mission was to kill someone and it had to be done by a foreigner and in Uganda.

He revealed that ODM leader Raila Odinga learnt of the plan and informed the target, scuttling the killer’s plans.

The Lebanese national told the sleuths he met a man identified as Farouk in Khartoum where he had been sent by the client to deliver payment and confirm the hired killer was eliminated after the mission aborted.

He added that was before July 5th before Daoud instructed him to go to Kampala to meet Aydin and the client.

The Lebanese national said he had travelled with Farouk to Atbara where he met William Ruto, who he was informed was Kenya’s Deputy President.

He revealed that he was to receive payment on behalf of Daoud which amounted to Sh10 million.

He added that Daoud had hired a killer to eliminate the killer but mission aborted due to leakage.

He revealed that the hired killer was to be eliminated and the mission was to be executed in Sudan.

On the mission at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the Lebanese national told the sleuths a prominent figure in Kenya was to secure the killer a job as a cleaner at the airport.

He said the killer was to be a suicide bomber and had been hired from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He added that they faked the killer’s identity card to read he was a student and then Farouk was to get someone to get him inside the airport.

But the mission aborted after it leaked.

 

 

Turkish national Harun Aydin was deported yesterday morning after consultations between the Kenyan and Turkish authorities.

His lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, however, maintained that Aydin had been asked to leave at his own expense.

Aydin, the man in the drama surrounding the Deputy President William Ruto’s aborted trip to Uganda, was taken to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) airside where he boarded a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. On arrival, he was picked up by security officials for questioning, according to reports.

A senior government official confirmed the deportation saying his country was fully aware. 

“He was deported after consultations with the local officials who asked we send him there for further processing,” he said.

But last evening, Deputy President William Ruto in a tweet said he had talked and apologised to Aydin, who is now in Turkey. 

“Just talked & apologised on behalf of GoK to Aydin Harun, now in Turkey, who was politically arrested, tortured & falsely profiled as a ‘terrorist’ but later asked to fly out not to shame those involved. Political pettiness is expensive/dangerous & will destroy our economy. SHAME.”

Aydin was arrested on Saturday immediately after landing at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi from Uganda and spent two days in custody.

It was, however, not immediately established whether he would be allowed in the country again, following the deportation.

The departure, however, left more questions than answers, especially on the real identity of Aydin and the businesses he was involved in the country. 

Authorities have not said whether other Turkish nationals who met DP Ruto in Uganda are still in the country. 

During Ruto’s July 6 private visit to Uganda, he met two men and another female, all Turkish nationals. According to sources, the four held a day-long meeting which was not attended by Aydin.

 Records obtained by detectives indicate that two of the people believed to have met DP Ruto in Uganda were Hamit Demir holder of passport number U23165848 and Mehmet Akif Bagle holder of passport number U11979628.

The two, among other passengers left Nairobi aboard Kenya Airways flight number KQ420 that arrived at Entebbe Airport at 9.50am.

They both travelled business class, one of the passengers had two bags, each weighing 18kg.

Terror links 

The other question has been what the man was doing in the country.   Ruto and his allies have castigated the government for frustrating investors but records indicate that Aydin had not invested in the country.

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

Importers’ goods declared contraband, Africa spirits closed, Keroche harassed, now investor with valid papers labelled terrorist pettiness,” Ruto tweeted.

  Aydin was being investigated over his alleged links to terror and money laundering, immigration status and his suspicious trips in the country.

Police had initially said he was being investigated for financing terrorism. The other issue was his activities with officials saying his passport shows he exited twice from Kenya but there is no entry stamp.

Aydin runs 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, 2021. It is expected to expire on June 29, 2023.

The Immigration department in May this year launched a Rapid Response Initiative (RRI), that started on June 2 and ended on July 31, to expedite processing of all applications for regaining Kenya citizenship and issuance of permanent residence, among other documents.


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