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DRUG BARONS

How Akashas took control of the Sub-Saharan drug market

Akashas operations were well protected for close to one and a half decade by pocketing law enforcement, government officials.

In Summary

• During the peak of their business, Akasha brothers were making between Sh6 million and Sh7 million for each Kilogramme of cocaine acquired from Tanzania and sold to the Kenyan market.

• Over the decade and a half, the Akasha brothers spread there tentacles to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi through investments and financing of their like minded parties.

A file photo of suspected drug barons Baktash Akasha, Gulam Hussein, Ibrahim Akasha and Vijaygiri Goswami at the Chief Magistrate's court in Mombasa. /MKAMBURI MWAWASI
A file photo of suspected drug barons Baktash Akasha, Gulam Hussein, Ibrahim Akasha and Vijaygiri Goswami at the Chief Magistrate's court in Mombasa. /MKAMBURI MWAWASI

After the murder of their father in 2000, Akasha brothers would take over the family's drug empire.

Their reign started off well and gained ground before going bust.

The two brothers Ibrahim (30) and Bhaktash Akasha (41) would stamp their authority to command the fear the family attracted during their father's murderous reign.

 

A pre-hearing submission document submitted to a US court says the Akashas would stop at nothing to protect their lucrative drug empire they inherited from their father after he was murdered in 2000.

Their operations were well protected for close to one and a half decade by pocketing the law enforcement, and government officials.

However, their 15 minutes of fame ended when America's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested the thuggish brothers in 2015.

Their extradition tok place in 2017.  Last week, their case was mentioned last week before a federal court in New York. 

Their sentencing, expected last week, was postponed to allow one Vijaygiri Goswami to continue testifying against the Akasha brothers.

Goswami, a long-life confidant of the Akasha family who first came to the family in 1980s, breaks down the dealing behind the drug business.

Goswani was arrested in 1997 in Dubai in drug related charges and after serving 15 years in prison, it was time to go back to the world.

 

At the time, the brothers had steadily stabilised the business and controlled the Kenyan market.

The Akasha brothers were on the process of spreading their tentacles to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Burundi by financing their like minded parties.

Just like old times, the brothers would link up with his former crime partner Goswami in 2012, this time with a slight twist.

The twist would be that the Akasha empire was no longer under the leadership of their father Abdalla, but his two sons.

Goswami had a clear role, to open up the empire to the international market.

It would take close to an year for Goswami to rejoin the game and help them in 2014 to distribute Abba, a precursor chemical they would use to manufacture Mandrax in large-scale in South Africa.

The Akashas explained to Goswami that they had access to 10 tonnes of Abba that had been seized by Kenyan law enforcement, and which was provided to the Akashas on a rolling basis after they bribed the officials responsible for guarding the stockpile.

At the time the Akashas approached Goswami, Baktash was overseeing the distribution of this Abba stockpile, and Ibrahim was managing the logistics of transporting the Abba and bribing Kenyan officials for continued access.

The distribution of the new product Abba was to add to the long list of dealings the brothers were involved in, others being cocaine, Ephedrine, and Mandrax.

It is during a catch up with Goswami that the Akasha brothers would reveal the booming drug business they controlled.

The brothers revealed that they were making between Sh6 million and Sh7 million for each Kkilogramme of cocaine acquired from Tanzania and sold to the Kenyan market.

The duo were also involved in distribution of Ephedrine, a stimulant and medication for among others asthma.

The two had been smuggling and selling the product for eight years. Ibrahim also explained to Goswami that he was involved in purchasing Mandrax from Kenya, and transporting that Mandrax to South Africa, where it commanded a higher price.

South Africa opened mew opportunities for the brothers as they got access to stolen vehicles that they sold in Kenya.

Business was up and running, and its success saw the Akashas and Goswami seeking to expand territory.

David Armstrong, who was one of their contact and business partner in Mandrax in South Africa, linked the three to a China-based Abba supplier named Martin Hong.

A meeting was arranged between Hong and the Akashas. It was to take place in Mombasa.

A proposal was set to have Hong distribute Abba to the Akasha empire at Sh4 million per tonne.

The Akasha’s were also keen on monopolising the business so they offered an extra Sh3 million to Hong if he agreed to an exclusive partnership with them.

The report, submitted at the District Court  of New York where the Akashas were tried, first indicates that Hong was hesitant but they family would keep him around and create a rapport through a tour in Kenyan national parks and other tourist sites, a plan that worked magic.

Over a three years period, Hong supplied approximately 10 tonnes of Abba to the Akasha cartel.

In 2015 the family agreed to invest in Sh10 million to acquire 3.5 tonnes of  Ephedrin that wuld see the manufacturing of methaphetamine (crystal meth) in Tanzania and Mozambique laboratories. 

It was at this time that the Akashas put their feet into the American waters with an aim of supplying Heroine and Methamphetamine which would lead to their arrest.

The document reveals they were able to continue with operations in Kenya after their arrests as they managed to delay the justice process in their case.

The Akashas are also linked to murder of a drug dealer only identified as Pinky and allying with terror group Al Shabaab.