He is not Devani, insist Kenya police

April 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – Fingerprint samples taken from a look-alike of the Triton oil scandal prime suspect Yagnesh Devani have produced negative results, throwing police into further confusion.

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe has told Capital News they were still trying to ascertain the identity of the man in custody since he had several passports.

“We were waiting for the outcome of the fingerprint samples taken from him but they have all turned out negative this morning,” Mr Kiraithe told this writer on telephone from his office at Police Headquarters on Monday morning.

He could not, however, disclose where the suspect was being held only saying “he is still with our officers; any further action will be communicated to you later.”

Mr Kiraithe said they had resorted to various other measures of identifying the suspect including “asking people who know Devani to come up and help in the identification.”

The man was arrested on Friday soon after landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after officers thought he was the runaway billionaire businessman who is wanted over a Sh7.6 billion oil scandal
On Friday, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere told Capital News it was not Mr Devani in custody but another person with similar names.

He could not however, explain why the suspect was still being held.

A senior detective at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) said they were contemplating taking the suspect to court to face various charges that are not related to the Triton Oil scandal once they exhaust the identification process.

“We have options and we will explore them, the man was traveling on a Kenyan passport but you see he also has more than two other passports,” the source said.

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) said it was not involved [in any way] in the investigations of the man in question, although the commission is seeking Mr Devani on the oil scandal charges.

“The position is that our officers are not involved in this investigation; we have not been involved [by the police] and we are just reading about it on newspapers,” KACC Spokesman Mr Nicholas Simani said.

Briefs given to the police from the Interpol showed that the suspect was in London last week from where he left via India and later to Nairobi.

Media reports say Nairobi-based lawyer Katwa Kigen who represents Mr Devani has denied his client is in Kenya and had even spoken to him on telephone.

He told reporters in Eldoret at the weekend that he had spoken to his client who assured him that he was not in the country or in anybody’s custody.

The government sought Interpol’s help to have Mr Devani, together with other directors of his Triton Petroleum Company arrested over the scandal in January last year after accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers was contracted to carry out a forensic audit on the scope of the fraud in which the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the Kenya Pipeline Company lost million of shillings.


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