'Missing' Dutch tycoon never left Kenya — Immigration

Wife said he went to Thailand for urgent medical attention.

In Summary

• Cohen, 71, was reported missing on July 19 but police have not yet determined what happened.

• A senior source at the Immigration office said Cohen was still in the country as there was no way that he had travelled.

Dutch Millionaire Tob Cohen
WHERE IS HE? Dutch Millionaire Tob Cohen
Image: FILE

The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of  Dutch-born, Kenyan-based millionaire golfer Tob Cohen has continued to deepen.

Despite claims by his estranged wife that he had flown out of the country, the Immigration Department confirmed that he has not left Kenya.

Cohen, 71, was reported missing on July 19 but Directorate of Criminal Investigation detectives are yet to locate him and determine whether is dead or alive.


His phone has been off since he went missing.

A source at the Immigration Department said they had combed through all passenger manifestos for outbound flights for possible dates but Cohen's name was not in any.

The senior official said Cohen was still in the country as there was no evidence indicating that he had left through any of the official exit points.

The Dutch Embassy said it has contacted  Kenyan authorities to partner with the Netherlands police to speed up investigations.

“The Netherlands Embassy is not in a position to disclose any details of the case. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in close contact with the family in the Netherlands about the case. The family is gravely concerned,” the embassy wrote in response questions from the Star.

The Star has established that after the disappearance was reported on the same day he went missing, his estranged wife, Sarah Wairimu Kamotho, told police at the Spring Valley Station that Cohen had travelled to Thailand for urgent medical attention.

Cohen’s lawyers led by Dunstan Omari and Judy Thongori wrote to the Inspector General of Police and DCI, saying that they suspect Cohen could have been abducted by people well known to him, with the cover-up of some police officers.


Cohen is in court trying to divorce  Kamotho. 

Cohen, a former CEO of Philips Electronics East Africa, is a longstanding member of the Muthaiga Golf Club.

His lawyers have recorded statements with the police.

Omari told The Star that the police have done little to establish the whereabouts of their client since his disappearance was reported.

In April, Cohen complained to the police that his estranged wife was colluding with unknown people to frustrate him following his filing for divorce.

Earlier in February, Cohen and his wife fought physically after they disagreed over his Sh500 million property in Nairobi’s Kitusuru estate.

Cohen asked the police to be more vigilant and take action against his wife, whom he accused of wanting to take over the property by force.

“The contents of the letter were later buttressed through another dated July 10, which raised an issue regarding attempted subversion of justice by the Gigiri OCPD,” Omari said.

Omari said Cohen’s family in the Netherlands had tried to contact him on the day he disappeared, but all his phones had been switched off.

They alerted the Dutch police in Amsterdam who reported the matter to Kenya's Foreign Affairs office.

“The Ministry of Foreign affairs attempted in vain to call Cohen. On reaching out to his estranged wife, she informed the ministry that Cohen had flown to Thailand for three weeks seeking urgent medical attention,” read part of Omari’s affidavit sent to the IG.

Dutch millionaire Tob Cohen with his lawyer Dustan Omari.
Dutch millionaire Tob Cohen with his lawyer Dustan Omari.

On July 22, Thongori, who has been representing Cohen in the divorce case, received a letter that purported to direct the firm to withdraw the divorce case No. 35 of 2019.

The letter was alleged to have been authored by Cohen on July 20,  just a day after he went missing.

Subsequently, Omari tried to make an official report of Cohen’s going missing at the Spring Valley Police Station but the deputy OCS, Purity, declined the, request to have the matter recorded in the Occurrence Book.

The deputy OCS told Omari that Wairimu, Cohen’s estranged wife, had notified them that Cohen had travelled to Thailand.

She informed the lawyers that Cohen had written to the OCS instructing them withdraw the case against his estranged wife.

In February after their fight, Cohen and his wife both filed P3 forms (official police complaints on assault) against each other in different police stations.

Cohen filed his at Parklands Police Station while the wife filed hers at the Mwimto police post, Gigiri.

Nairobi police boss Phillip Ndolo told the Star his office is appraised of Cohen's disappearance.

Ndolo said they are piecing together the information collected so far as investigations continue.

(Edited by V. Graham)