In Summary
  • Mr Punjani said that he was a free man contrary to widely circulated reports that he was wanted by authorities to answer to drug trafficking charges.
  • Former Mombasa County Commander Johnston Ipara said Mr Punjani was a wanted man and would be arrested once he arrived in Kenya, following a raid at his house.

Mystery surrounds Mombasa tycoon Ali Punjani’s return to the country from India where he sought refuge after police raided his home last month accusing him of engaging in drug trafficking.

Mr Punjani is said to have sneaked into the country through Tanzania last week and maintained a low profile at his Nyali residence since then. It is not clear when he returned to the country.

Highly-placed sources claimed that police officers who were on Mr Punjani’s trail were issued with firm orders to go slow on the matter ahead of his return to the country from India where he had allegedly gone to seek specialised treatment.

“We were not aware of his arrival, but the directive was clear that he should not be arrested,” said the source within the investigating team.

On Monday, Mr Punjani said that he was a free man contrary to widely circulated reports that he was wanted by authorities to answer to drug trafficking charges.

NO IDEA

In a WhatsApp text message to a Nation journalist, Mr Punjani said he had been in Mombasa for the past one week.

“I am currently in Mombasa. I have been in Mombasa Town for one week and as you can see, I am reading today’s paper in my house,” he said.

He went ahead to prove his presence in the country by accompanying the message with a photo of himself holding a copy of the Daily Nation dated September 16.

The reports that he had sneaked into the country through Tanzania were widely circulated on social media.

Contacted, newly-posted County Police Commander Augustine Nthumbi distanced himself from warnings issued earlier by his predecessor that Mr Punjani would be arrested as soon as he sets foot in the country.

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