Iranian Ambassador Hadi Farajvand Caught Trying to Free Terror Suspects

  • Iranian Ambassador to Kenya, Hadi Farajvand, has been caught up in an investigation on a botched attempt to free two terror suspects.

    According to police, the ambassador had been searching for high-level contacts in government who could help him to illegally secure the release of Iranian nationals, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammed and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, and smuggle them out of Kenya.

    Authorities believe the two Iranian nationals are members of the Quds Force — an elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that carries out covert foreign missions, including terror attacks.

    In June 2018, Interpol had warned of Iranian officials' attempt to compromise key government employees and the criminal justice system to have the two released.

    On Friday, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested two Kenyans, Wesley Kiptanui Kipkemoi and Shemgrant Agyei, for allegedly defrauding the ambassador of an unknown amount of money by claiming to be Interior Ministry officials who could help him.

    Police told Nation that the Iranian ambassador was so confident the terror suspects would be freed that on February 8, he was captured on CCTV visiting an airline office on Riverside Drive in Nairobi alongside an aide, to book three tickets — his, Mohammed’s and Mousavi’s.

    Farajvand later realised he had been duped and cancelled the tickets. Detectives claim he also contacted government officials to inquire about the two individuals he had been dealing with. The DCI was then alerted and started the investigation that led to the arrest of Kipkemoi and Agyei.

    The two terror suspects whom the ambassador was allegedly trying to smuggle, had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2013 after leading police to a lethal explosive identified as RDX in Mombasa and were accused of planning a terror attack.  

    The sentence was later reduced to 15-years in jail after they appealed at the High Court. On moving to the Court of Appeal, they were set free in 2018.

    However, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) moved to the Supreme Court to challenge their release with the judges allowing the police to hold the suspects until a decision is made on their fate.

    Haji expressed his disappointment on learning about the plot to smuggle the foreigners out of the country.

    “This is unacceptable and a clear attempt to subvert the course of justice and the rule of law. I intend to notify the Supreme Court about the latest developments because the two are now a flight risk. There may be a need to review the conditions in which they are held,” he told Nation.

    The DPP added that he would also write to Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry to summon the ambassador, who enjoys diplomatic immunity, for an explanation.