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Court stops deportation of Italian tycoon


The High Court in Malindi has issued orders restraining deportation of an Italian investor.

Mario Mele, 56, has lived in Kenya, especially in Malindi where he has invested in hotel and entertainment ventures.

Kenyan police claim he is wanted in Italy to face interrogation over a 2013 tax evasion probe.

Mario’s whereabouts since he was snatched from his Patapata Beach Hotel in Malindi on Wednesday by about ten unknown armed men who burst in after barricading the property remained unknown for close to 48 hours until Friday amid reports Kenyan authorities were plotting to extradite him to Italy immediately.

His lawyer Gicharu Kimani and senior police officers who asked not to be named revealed that Mario was seized from among revelers in a brazen raid that caused a heavy commotion.

Paraded by the police

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Mr Kimani claimed his client was seized by unknown captors from his property, bundled into a car at gunpoint and taken to Gede near Malindi. It is not clear when he was brought to Mombasa because early Saturday there were reports he was to flown to Nairobi through Malind airport.

On Friday he was paraded by police in Mombasa with Coast Regional Police Coordinator Joseph Tuimur claiming he was wanted in Italy in connection with “organised crime”.

Tuimur warned on Friday that Mario and two other Italians detained in Mombasa and Kwale will be deported to Italy.

The officers who declined to be quoted confirmed that the raid was conducted by policemen who drove into Malindi in four cars.

“This raid took place around 9pm,” said Gicharu who added that he had not been able to communicate with his client, or establish who were his captors for more than 24 hours. He said he feared for the safety and well being of his client after the latest episodes.

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