NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – It has now emerged that businessman Ali Punjani who is being sought over drug trafficking is admitted to a hospital in India over a heart-related condition.
His family has released his travel itinerary and photographs of the tycoon on a hospital bed.
A letter from a local hospital dated July 31 indicates he was admitted at the facility on July 29 following what was described as an acute coronary syndrome.
He was then referred to the Asian Heart Institute in India.
Police started a search in his house on Monday and are expected to break in on Tuesday in search for hard drugs which police say he has been dealing in.
Punjani is a close associate of the Akasha family whose two brothers Baktash and Ibrahim are facing trial in the US where they are awaiting sentencing in New York after they were convicted of drug trafficking in East Africa and America.
The Two Akasha brothers – Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha – in October 2018 pleaded guilty to six counts of drug trafficking before a US court.
Mombasa Police Commander Johnstone Ipara has declared Punjani a wanted man on Monday and ordered him to surrender to the nearest police station.
Ahmed Salama, the MCA of Likoni’s Bofu Ward, was among 17 people arrested since the national government launched a crackdown on the narcotics trade on Sunday.
“We are not sparing anybody in this crackdown,” said Mombasa Police Commander, Johnstone Ipara.
The crackdown was accelerated a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi issued a tough warning in Mombasa, saying there was a strong link between recent attacks in Kisauni and drug trafficking.
On Monday, Ipara led a contingent of heavily armed police officers to Punjani’s house, where a search for drugs was conducted but he was away.
“We are giving him some hours to surrender to the nearest police station,” Ipara told journalists.
“The raid at Punjani’s house follows a tip-off from the public that is why we are here to ascertain reports that he deals in drugs.”