CONVICTED OF DRUG TRAFFICKING IN NEW YORK

Akashas seek release of seized property, state says not yet

items were recovered from 2014 raid on their house in Niali, never used as exhibits

In Summary

• The property includes at least four vehicles,  a copy of a sale agreement of a motor vehicle, several gold chains, ledger books, logbooks, 25 round of shotgun ammunition.

•IDs and other documents recovered were already returned to Najma.

It's just a negligible fraction of the forfeited Akasha family fortune— a few cars, a logbook, gold coins, a ledger — not the mountains of ill-gotten cash and lavish homes bought with the proceeds from drugs trafficking.

The property was seized in 2014 in a raid on November 9, 2014, on the Nyali home of Bakhtash Akasha.

The state says everything still should be forfeited.

The family says it is living in penury and wants the property back; it claims the confiscated property is held illegally.

It says the extradition hearings are over and the items held were never used as exhibits.

The case filed by Bakhtash’s wife, Najma Juma Hassan, was first adjourned until October 2, since the prosecution had not filed their reply in court, but made oral submissions.

The prosecution said they have to contact the Director of Public Prosecutions and the head of the anti-narcotics department since they are waiting for the November sentencing of Ibrahim Akasha in New York.

The Akashas were sought for extradition to the US and were tried in the Southern District Court in New York for conspiracy to import narcotics to the US among other offences.

Bakhtash was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Najma’s lawyer, Kiogora Mugambi, argued that they were ready to proceed and asked the court to direct the prosecution to file a written response.

The court directed that the state files a reply to the suit in which it has been sued with other government agencies.

“We cannot rely on a futuristic sentencing. After all, the case was filed by Najma, the property belongs to Bakhtash and his wife, and Bakhtash has already been sentenced. We see no reason for the continued delay in releasing the property,” Kiogora argued.

An earlier case involving the Akasha brothers, Vijaygiri Anandguri Goswani and Gulam Hussein, stood withdrawn and the file closed on September 17 before Justice Njoki Mwangi.

We cannot rely on a futuristic sentencing. After all, the case was filed by Najma, the property belongs to Bakhtash and his wife, and Bakhtash has already been sentenced. We see no reason for the continued delay in releasing the property.
Lawyer Kiogora Mugambi

In the latest attempt dated on September 19, Najma said the items were recovered from their house in Nyali.

The property includes at least four vehicles,  a copy of a sale agreement of a motor vehicle, several gold chains, ledger books, logbooks, 25 round of shotgun ammunition, two powdery substances, cheque books and vaccination certificates.

Others are ID cards, birth certificates, phones, passports, three Ceska pistol magazines, a greenish plant material in a clear paper bag, 82 bags of alleged tea in khaki papers, one shotgun and KRA pins.

“The items recorded in an inventory dated November 9, 2014, should be returned to the applicant.  Kiogora said.

Najma argues that the items were never used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings and they are now held illegally by the state.

“The applicant was not a party to the extradition proceedings of a case in 2014, and having not been charged for any offence subsequent to the search, captured under the inventory, the continued detention of her properties under pretext of the extradition proceedings is wholly untenable and illegal,” the lawyer said.

After the raid, some of the items were returned to the family, mostly documents, ID cards and birth certificates.

“The respondent has persistently maintained that save for the items already released, all the other items are to be used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings and are liable for forfeiture,” Kiogora said.

He argued that the extradition proceedings are complete and the properties seized were never used as exhibits in the extradition proceedings.

(Edited by V. Graham)