Police boss denies Punjani has 19 armed cop bodyguards

In Summary

• A six-hour search of Punjani's house for narcotics on Monday only yielded a roll of bhang.

Ali Pujani, Abdulsalam Akasha with laywer Francis Kadima at the Mombasa law court during a past hearing.
Ali Pujani, Abdulsalam Akasha with laywer Francis Kadima at the Mombasa law court during a past hearing.
Image: FILE

Police have denied reports that tycoon Ali Punjani has 19 armed cop bodyguards.

Mombasa police commander Johnstone Ipara on Tuesday said, "Let the reporter tell us who were the police officers, from which station and when they were assigned to guard Punjani."

Punjani was a close associate of Ibrahim and Baktash Akasha, who are awaiting sentencing over a sophisticated drug cartel.

During the Akashas' trial, a US court heard that the two had immersed influence and had repeatedly bribed police officers to buy their freedom.

A six-hour search of Punjani's house for narcotics on Monday only yielded a roll of bhang.

Three foreigners, including his Nepalese third wife Karki Suhmija, 24, will record statements at Nyali police station and be arraigned for giving false information to police.

Others are Shiva Bashyal,30, and Indian Maloj Rom.

Police found Sh57,010 in Shiva's room and a roll of bhang.

Police said the three have made frequent trips to Tanzania which were suspect.

This year, several Tanzanian heroin traffickers have been nabbed in Kisauni and their cases are ongoing at Mombasa Law Court.

Two caretakers are also being questioned and will record statements after lying to police they didn't have keys to the house during the Monday raid.

Ipara said the search would extend to other houses belonging to Punjani and his associates.