Tycoon Jimi Wanjigi’s whereabouts still unknown after raid

Police officers from the General Service Unit have arrived the the home of businessman Jimi Wanjigi where detectives have been camping since 10am.

Police on Monday morning raided three palatial residences of tender billionaire and said they had found five AK assault rifles and ammunition in one of them.

Officers from the Special Crime Unit entered Mr Wanjigi’s houses in Mombasa’s upmarket Nyali estate, a 22-bedroom villa believed to be his in Malindi, and his opulent residence in Nairobi’s Muthaiga estate.

National Super Alliance leaders, among them Mr Raila Odinga, MPs and senators rushed to Mr Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home, where he was believed to be holed up.

Mr Wanjigi is a key financier and strategist for Nasa, after falling out with Jubilee whom he supported in 2013.

He is a controversial and secretive individual who was associated with the Anglo Leasing scandal and has raked in billions of shillings through tenders in the former Government of National Unity.

Police sources said a combined team of detectives from Nairobi and Mombasa stormed the businessman’s residence in Nyali, conducted a search and left.

It could not be established if they took anything away.

In Malindi, police are investigating four people arrested in a house said to belong to two Italians, where five guns, 93 rounds of ammunition and a wildlife trophy were seized.

Workers said the house is owned by Mr Wanjigi but rented out to the two Italians.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said police got a tip-off before raiding the house belonging to Mr Franco Fantani and Mr Giovanni Ferliga on Ngowa road, off the Malindi-Lamu road at Mtangani, on Sunday night.

Speaking to the press, Mr Muchangi said the housekeepers and security guards thought to be employees in the house were arrested on Monday morning while reporting for duty.

“The four suspects were also arrested at the house and have been taken for interrogation to help us in investigation,” he said, adding that a tortoise shell was also found.

One of the security guards, who declined to be named for security reasons, told Nation that he has been seeing luxury cars entering the premises but he has never identified the persons in them.

Mr Muchangi, who also paraded the suspects before the press, said police were investigating the real owner of the house, after the suspects claimed they were employed by Mr Wanjigi.

“The issue of ownership is subject to investigation but prior investigations have established that the house belongs to two Italians,” he said, adding that “we are yet to establish if the owners had sold the house to another person”.

Mr Stephen Mulewa, one of the suspects who spoke to the press under the watch of the police, said he was employed by Mr Wanjigi and he was arrested on Monday morning after reporting work.

“I arrived at the house in the morning and I noticed something unusual after seeing policemen surrounding the premises only to be told that firearms had been recovered there,” he said.

Mr Mulewa, who was prevented by police from revealing more information, said he knew nothing of the firearms found in one of the stores despite having worked at the house for long.

Mr Muchangi said police were investigating if the firearms are linked to terror attacks.

“The firearms that have been recovered are in a serviceable state and we are establishing if they were used for terror attacks,” he said and urged the public to help police with information that could lead to the arrest of more suspects.

Mr Muchangi said police received reports of “suspicious activities” going on in the house .

In Nairobi, the raid started at 10am and by 6pm the officers, who barred journalists from entering the compound, were still inside.

Speaking to the press at Mr Wanjigi’’s house, Siaya Senator James Orengo said the police were there to arrest Mr Wanjigi but had not found him at home.

“We understand that the search is related to a raid that took place in Malindi where some guns were found, unfortunately the police are unable to confirm that the house belongs to Mr Wanjigi,” Mr Orengo said.

He said the raid had been planned to happen on Friday last week since some of the media houses had been alerted, adding that he suspected the guns were planted, since nobody in their right mind would keep guns in an open store.

Mr Orengo said the most appropriate thing was to first get the owner of the building, get a proper warrant and make an inventory before raiding the house.

Mr Orengo said they were only able to meet Mr Wanjigi’s father, former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi and his wife, but they were not allowed inside the house to confirm if the younger Wanjigi was in.

He also accused the police of conducting an illegal operation instead of obtaining a proper search warrant.

The raid was carried out, Mr Orengo claimed, because Mr Wanjigi is associated with the opposition and was meant to distract them from the ongoing preparations for an election.

“The police broke into the compound. The illegal activity was undertaken because he is associated with Nasa,” Mr Orengo said, adding that they will not sit and watch Mr Wanjigi get prosecuted over illegal firearms yet investigations had not followed the due process.

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Written by Daily Nation

The Nation Media Group (NMG) founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1959 has become the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa. It has been quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange since the early 1970s.

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