Kenya Top Stories

Kinoti: Venezuelan nationals were invited to rig elections

Kinoti: Venezuelan nationals were invited to rig elections

On 19th,  July 2022 one Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos a Venezuelan national left Panama to Istanbul Turk, and arrived in Nairobi on 21st July 2022 aboard a Turkish Airline Flight N TK 607.

On arrival at Terminal 1A,  the Customs Officers during ordinary and usual screening of incoming luggage detected through the monitoring screen suspicious contents in the bag bearing the mg of Jose Gregor Camargo Castellanos.

The Mg was flagged and Jose Gregor Castellanos Camargo was questioned regarding the contents of his bag.

He was however incoherent and hesitant in answering the questions posed to him.

 He was then requested to open his bag which he obliged and therein seventeen (17) rolls of electoral materials namely stickers were found of which one (16) were printed and one (1) was blank.

The stickers were for various polling stations which he stated were for approximately 10.000 stations namely, Nairobi-3, Kiambu -2, Nakuru-2, Meru-2,  Machakos-I,  Murang’a -1, Bomet –I,  Nyeri –I,  Tharaka Nithi Nyandarua -1,  Kericho-1 and one (1) unprinted roll.

He acknowledged that was his personal luggage and his second bag contained one personal laptop, one personal monitor, five flash discs, one mobile phone and assorted personal computer accessories.

When he was questioned on ownership of the same he stated that the electronics and their accessories were his personal items and not IEBC property.

In furtherance thereof section 29(a) empowers police officers to arrest any person upon reasonable grounds of having committed any cognisable offence.

Section 29 (d) equally gives police officers the power to arrest any person in whose possession anything is found which may reasonably be suspected to be stolen property or who may reasonably be suspected of having committed an offence in reference to that thing.

The officers having established that the rolls were allegedly the property of IEBC of the Republic of Kenya arrested the suspect and confiscated the stated rolls and went ahead to inquire from the suspect Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos how he came into possession of the same.

The suspect confessed that he was given the materials from Panama by his company M/S Smartrnatic International Holding B.V  to deliver to one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed's office in Nairobi.

Investigations revealed that the stated electoral materials had been checked in as a personal luggage and not cargo at the country of departure, Panarna.

On arrival the said consignment was not declared to the Customs Office as is ordinarily required by custom laws through filling of Form F-88 in compliance with Section 46(1) of the East Africa Community Customs Management Act.

 Further. Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio did not provide any documentation to justify being in possession of the consignment which would ordinarily be expected to accompany such a consignment.

Further investigation conducted on Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio also showed that he had arrived in the country on a business visa on the invitation of one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed to his office for work related activities via a letter addressed to the officer in charge of the visa section Embassy of Kenya on 18th July, 2022. The officers were shocked how a foreigner all the way from Venezuela, Panama, Turkey to Nairobi contracted for a very sensitive and high-level service by supposedly IEBC had nobody waiting for him and in particular to receive the sensitive confidential materials which were supposed to be in secure custody after confirmation and reception by the procuring entity.

 He was thus asked who had invited him or how did he come to be in Kenya and he confessed that he was invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed.

Upon probing the suspect, it emerged that Mr. Camargo did not bear any letter or documentation indicating that he had been invited by 1EBC and as such the materials in his possession belonged to Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed.

It is while the detectives were questioning Mr Camargo that two other Venezuelan nationals identified as Joel Gustavo Rodriguez and Salvador Javier Suarez came to the airport inquiring on the whereabouts of Mr Camargo.

Investigations also reveal that Joel Gustavo Rodriguez and Salvador Javier Suarez were equally Venezuelan citizens residing in Panama and were personally invited by Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed who in a stranger than fiction luck, only found Venezuelans all living in Panama and not any other Nationality living elsewhere who jetted into the country carrying a similar consignment that passed undetected on 15 July, 2022.

Joel Gustavo Rodriguez was carrying nine (9) while Salvador Javier Suarez was carrying eight (8) rolls of stickers.

This led to their arrest on 21st July 2022 at around 1900hrs at ATPU Headquarters Nairobi during which two mobile phones and two Venezuelan Passports were confiscated.

 As per the contract dated 25' November 2021 between IEBC and M/S Smartmatic International Holding 8.0 vide tender no. IEBC/01T/001/21/2022-2021 the three suspects are not in any way captured as employees of IEBC or Srnartmatic International B.V.

A further search was conducted at their Apartment wherein the detectives seized and confiscated one tablet and two flash disks.

All the seized electronic devices were forwarded to ATPU Forensic laboratory for examination and analysis.

On further investigations it was established that Joel Gustavo Rodriguez and Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio had travelled using expired passports from their mother country of Venezuela.

 Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos passport number 115868706 expired on 11 February 2020. (Annexed herein and Marked VK-5 Is a copy of the bio data page). Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia passport number 110336640 expired on 13 November 2019 (Annexed herein and Marked VK-6 Coo copy of the bio page). All the passports are under investigations.

It is an establish fact that the three foreigners were invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed at his office in Nairobi. (Annexed herein and marked as VIC -4, VK-7 and VK-8 respectively are letters of invitation for Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio was invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed vide an invitation letter dated 18" July; Salvador Javier Sosa Suarez was invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed vide an invitation letter dated 8th July,  2022,  Joel Gustavo Rodriguez Garcia was invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed vide an invitation letter dated 4th July. 2022.

From the aforesaid invitation letters, it is clear that the three foreigners were in Kenya solely for business with Abdulahi Abdi Moharned applying for his personnel who he had contracted to come to his office in Nairobi for work related activities.

The suspects expected to report to the Director ATPU are not IEBC personnel or staff or even contracted by IEBC but employees of one Abdulahi Abdi Mohammed.

Taking cognisance of the upcoming general elections and the purpose of stickers which is to identify and track KIEMS kit bags, it would be risk and a threat to credible and accountable distribution of legitimate KIEMs kit bags to respective polling stations thus compromising or bringing the entire exercise into subsidence.

This may be very costly to the country and boarders on national security.

Mr. Chebukati has not told Kenyans of the previously sneaked in elections materials to with 17 rolls of which we expected him to explain its purpose and which subsequently found their way into the country without being declared at the airport.

 Neither has he notified immigration. customs nor security agents of more stickers to come so as to avoid a similar incidence, if at all they are expected.

 In addition, Mr. Chebukati must also explain to Kenyans the purpose of the blank roll seized.

Mr. Chebukati is equally not telling Kenyans the total number of stickers specified and procured by the IEBC. He needs to tell Kenyans just as he is enthusiastic to harangue on perceived harassment to enable the public to reconcile the total number of stickers the IEBC can account for as of now.

It is a blatant lie and unconscionable to tell the public that National Police Service has confiscated all Electronic items belonging to IEBC.

We wish to put it right that the so-called electronic items were only one personal laptop, a monitor and a few flash disks all belonging to the suspect.

Castellanos Camargo

Nobody was compelled to give passwords for all the suspects freely and voluntarily gave their statements.

Mr. Chebukat as expected by Kenyans to give evidence to confirm his accusation against the police.

Is Mr Chebukati telling Kenyans that the entire forthcoming elections is contained in this one personal laptop, a few flash-disks and a personal phone?

How casual, the said confiscated or electronic items as stated by Mr Chebukati were in a luggage that the suspect Mr. Jose Gregorio Camargo Castellanos had several connecting flights where most luggages are prone to misplacement or theft.

Does Mr. Chebukati want to tell us that in the event the luggage got lost or misplaced in any of these connecting airports there could be no elections in the Republic of Kenya?

Smartmatic Company won the tender as the highest scoring technological company among all others in the world who bid to have the entire important and sensitive information in such gadgets stored in such pedestrian manner.

This is laughable.

It is disheartening and a cause by worry for Kenyans when Mr. Chebukati says he is troubled by police doing their work for all intent and purposes.

What was expected of the police under the circumstance upon the arrival of a foreigner who could not give an account of himself or explain what was in his possession? What was Mr. Chebukati expecting the police to do?

The law and duty of police is to prevent, deter, disrupt and where necessary detain and/or seize for purpose of investigations.

This was a very suspicious matter for the police not to take action.

This was a Venezuelan citizen living in Panama with a passport clearly expired who claimed he was contracted by persons he could not identify but finally gave a document showing he was brought to Kenya by one Abdullahi Abdi Moharnmd who organised for his visa and paid his flight to come to Kenya.

Didn't the police have the right to inquire more into this matter?

It was expected of Mr. Chebukati to actually congratulate and encourage the officers at the point of entry for a job well done unless there is something he knew that we do not know.

This was a discovery that he ought to be proud of and hail the officers on the same.

The discovery Impacted directly on him being the chairman to an exercise he oversees which otherwise could have been jeopardized, adulterated, marred, interfered with or in any manner would have discredited his responsibility.

Display Comments

Leave A Comment