Police Fail to Link Businessman to Yacht Blown Up in Heroin Scandal
The police have failed to link businessman Bilal Kimani to the drugs his yacht was allegedly carrying in 2015 due to lack of evidence.
Bilal was the owner of the Baby Iris yacht that was seized with heroin worth Ksh22 million and was blown up in an exercise presided by President Uhuru Kenyatta and then Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery.
The suspect was arrested after police assumed that he was privy to the narcotics aboard the yacht, allegations which he dismissed.
He claimed he had no knowledge of the drugs found in the water tank of the yacht that was scheduled to sail to Madagascar with tourists and noted that he had left the vessel in the hands of his crew.
George Odhiambo, an investigator, mentioned to the court that Bilal was not in the country when the crew of the yacht and its captain were arrested.
“Kimani had written to the IG notifying him that he was the owner of the yacht. In the letter, he said that he was not aware of the circumstances behind the seizure of the yacht and wanted to know if it could be released,” commented Odhiambo.
Inspector General Joseph Boinnet ordered the Immigration Department to provide Bilal’s travel visa details which upon presentation, indicated that he had been back in the country twice after the impounding of the narcotics aboard his vessel.
Bilal was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after he was handed over by Madagascar authorities on the IG's request in August 2018.
His lawyer Jared Magolo, told the court that the yacht ought to have been a court exhibit since Bilal had accepted ownership and accused the officers of disregarding court orders.
“Your honour there were two existing court orders directing the preservation of the vessel as a court exhibit,” noted Magolo.
Mombasa Senior Principle Magistrate Henry Nyakweba agreed to Magolo’s statement and ruled out the case.
“You went ahead and destroyed the vessel before presenting it before the court and yet the owner had claimed it. Why didn’t you let the court decide that after the matter was determined? You should read the Constitution so that next time you are able to act within the law,” he ruled while freeing the suspect.
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