In the world of drug lordship, intense gunfights to protect market territories and secure backstreet loading and processing zones are a norm, but when it involves three billionaires, brows get raised.
In Mombasa, the industry was arguably managed by three tycoons, the Akasha brothers (who are being convicted in the US) and Ali Punjani, a suspect being sought by Kenyan authorities.
So serious is the rivalry that fights capable of sending people to coma erupt all the time and the drug lords have preternatural capabilities of commissioning protection from the police service.
In 2017, according to Citizen TV, one of such fights between the above-mentioned parties occurred in a Mombasa club and left an aide, allied to Punjani, with serious head injuries and in a coma for a solid 4-days.
During the squabble, which took place in the new year's eve and where guns were drawn, the parties were reportedly after securing the city's drug underworld.
Five people were left injured that night.
A report carried by The Standard further reinforced drug prevalence in the coastal city with the fight between the Akashas and Punjani taking centre stage.
Akashas case prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman, argued in a New York Court, that the two brothers used kidnappings and violence to intimidate Punjani.
"In 2014 and 2015, the Akashas’ primary drug-trafficking rival in Mombasa was an individual named Ali Punjani. To show their dominance over Punjani, the Akashas targeted his associates - ‘Speedy’ and Tony Sanghani,” argued Berman in court papers.
Today, Punjani is wanted in connection with drug trafficking and headlines floating around insinuate that he might be seeking medical treatment in India.
His wife and two foreigners have since been arrested following a raid on his palatial home in the city of Mombasa.
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