High court has temporarily stayed orders by the magistrates’ court releasing several motor vehicles believed to be obtained through proceeds of crime by businessman Arafat Ikumu Omar.
Through his lawyer Sam Nyaberi, Omar had made an application to have several items including the motor vehicles released since they were initially not listed as exhibits by the prosecution.
The accused was arraigned in a Nairobi court with nine counts of offenses on 5th September 2018. The prosecution intends to amend the charge sheet due to arising issues.
Omar was accused of being in possession of fake 523,900 US dollars, firearm certificate and attempting to escape from lawful custody.
In other counts, the accused was charged with unlawfully being in possession of substances for making US dollars, a firearm without a certificate, possession of live ammunition without a certificate among others.
In an application opposing the release of the vehicles before High Court judge Justice Jessie Lesiit, prosecutor Susan Karuga avers that on 12th September, the Investigating officer in the matter was ordered to release the items recovered from the suspect that did not form part of investigations. Now, after further investigations, it is their argument that some of these vehicles may have been used in commission of criminal offences or obtained through proceeds of crime.
According to the application, accused person is alleged to have been found in possession of several log books for motor vehicles KCF 455 Y Toyota Lexus, KCM 328 J Toyota Axion, KCL 143 D Toyota Axion, KCA 393 E Toyota Mark X, KCD 900 C Toyota.
The prosecution also avers that the police are in physical possession of motor vehicles KCF, KCM, KCA and KCQ 151 X Toyota Prado.
It is alleged investigations revealed that the KCF Lexus is registered in the name of one Ann Chelang’at Ngetich and the police intend to interrogate her to enable further investigations as well as liaising with other government agencies in relation to the ownership of the said vehicle.
As per the National Transport and Safety Authority records, the KCA and KCM are registered Omar but the police believe they are proceeds of crime and are to be used in the prosecution of the matter.
The KCQ is in the possession of the police but the accused is yet furnish them with the log book bearing his name which will determine whether it will form part of the prosecution exhibits.
It is alleged that the log books for KCL and KCD in the hands of the police also bears the name of the accused. However the police are not in possession of these vehicle which are required for further investigations.
For purposes of fair and cogent investigations, the vehicles and logbooks in question require serious forensic dusting and listing as pertains to Chassis and engine numbers to ascertain whether their manufacturers numerical numbers are intact or have been tampered with criminally to conceal their identification.
According to the police, the vehicles were left out in the initial affidavit owing to the fact that investigations were still ongoing at the time.
The investigators also need the importation records of the vehicles to be verified by Kenya Revenue Authority to ascertain whether government taxes and/or revenues were duly collected at the time of registration.
There is suspicion that the vehicles were illegally obtained and used in the facilitation of other criminal activities by the accused in other places.
Fake currency and passport
In addition, it is alleged that the police are in possession of millions of money in different currencies seized in the house of the accused at Sapphire Heights Apartments during a raid and others in the possession of accused. However, during investigations, the accused could not give a justifiable explanation as to the source of the said monies.
Other items found in Omar’s house include 12 mobile phones, communication gadgets, CCTV DVR, a firearm certificate, travel documents, one magazine, 98 rounds of ammunition among others.
During arrest, the accused was found in possession of a Kenyan Identity card and passport, Republic of Southern Sudan Identity Card and passport.
However according to the police the Sudanese Embassy has confirmed that the ID and Passport are not genuine adding that Omar is not a citizen of the said country.
It is believed there is a high possibility of him disposing, vandalizing or destroying the vehicles in a manner that would assist him concealing evidence that could have led to his other criminal acts.
If the vehicles are released from police custody, investigations and prosecution will be greatly jeopardized and defeat justice and National security.
It is the prosecution’s case that depriving Omar custody of the vehicles does not affect his liberty, freedom, or his fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitution since such were granted and conferred by virtue of him having been released on cash bail.
The case will be heard inter parties on Monday 12th.