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Punjani wife, three others arrested following Nyali home raid

A Nepalese woman claiming to be Ali Punjani’s wife has been arrested alongside two men found in the tycoon’s Nyali house in Mombasa.

Mombasa Police Commander Johnstone Ipara on Tuesday told journalists they were treating the three as the first suspects in the investigation on Punjani’s alleged drug trafficking activities.

“We found three people in this house, and we are treating them as the first suspects in this investigation,” said Ipara, who was leading the raid.

The woman holds a Kenyan Foreign Certificate bearing the names Karki Sushmija issued in June this year in Mombasa.

One of the men arrested told police he is a cousin to the Nepalese woman, while the third man is an Indian-according to travel documents shown to journalists by detectives undertaking the raid.

More than a dozen police officers are conducting a search at the tycoon’s palatial home, even as his family claimed he is in India seeking treatment for a heart-related complication.

Punjani’s lawyer Jeff Asige, who spoke to journalists at the home on Tuesday morning, has assured that they are ready to cooperate with authorities, disclosing that his client is in India for medical treatment.

“My client is out of the country for treatment, but we are cooperating with police on this matter to establish the allegations against Mr Punjani,” he said.

Police were searching everywhere in the house, even inside cars parked in the compound, but it was not immediately clear if any drugs had been found.

Punjani is a close associate of the Akasha family–whose two brothers Baktash and Ibrahim are facing trial in the US where they are awaiting sentencing in New York after they were convicted of drug trafficking in East Africa and America. 

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