Does Malindi house with guns, bullets belong to Jimmy Wanjigi?

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Some of the items police found at the Malindi home, said to belong to a Nairobi businessman, during a raid on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

Police recovered guns and hundreds of bullets when they raided a Malindi home suspected to belong to a well-known Nairobi businessman.

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The businessman is known to be a billionaire and has been involved with politicians for years now.

A heavily armed multi-agency team arrived at the house early Monday morning with court orders to ransack it. They recovered five AK 47 guns with several rounds of ammunition.

It is understood police and intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring movement to and from the house and several other people both in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Police suspect the businessman has been working with several people to bring guns into the country using different entry points.

In a well-coordinated raid, another group of officers raided a house in Isiolo where they recovered an unknown number of guns and bullets.

Some of the items found at the Malindi home that police raided on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

The Malindi home, said to belong to a Nairobi businessman, that police raided and found guns and bullets, October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

“JAMES BOND WANJIGI”

Workers at the Malindi house said businessman Jimmy Wanjigi is their boss and documents found bear the name Kwacha Group of Companies, which is his.

One of the documents was work on a Generator that where the customer is listed as Kwacha Group of Companies (Malindi).

Wanjigi has been associated with NASA since the Supreme Court ordered repeat a presidential election but has not attended the Opposition coalition’s high profile events.

A search of one of the cars found in the compound shows that it is currently registered to Aldewright Consultants Limited.

The car is a black Porshe Cayenne registration number KBH 441Q.

One of the vehicles found at the Malindi home that police raided on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

One of the vehicles found at the Malindi home that police raided on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

Police say the house is owned by two Italians but are investigating to establish the suspect behind the firearms

The city businessman has lived a very quiet and sometimes mysterious life despite his business prowess.

Before May 6, 2016, the morning after controversial businessman Jacob Juma was shot dead, the only existing image of Wanjigi was one taken when he was 11 years old.

Two photographs were taken that day – the first proper image of the man in a decade was of him standing next to Opposition leader Raila Odinga, viewing Juma’s body at a mortuary.

For power watchers in Nairobi,  his presence meant Juma was dear to him. The only other time he was spotted in public was four years before when another one of his friends, Interior minister George Saitoti died in a chopper crash.

The event that had Wanjigi in the press in 2005 was one of happiness. In November that year, The Standard published a large full-color image of the man smiling broadly. He was sporting expensive ivory and gold-framed spectacles. The only other image of him taken that day was never published. It was at the wedding of the presidential press service director Isaiah Kabira.

The publication of three images of Wanjigi, taken around events that followed Juma’s death, fascinated those who, in Nairobi’s power circles, know the undercurrents on which the government runs.

For them, Jimmy ‘James Bond’ Wanjigi, is no ordinary man. He is perhaps the most powerful outside of the Kenyan government.

Known as James Bond to his friends and enemies, Wanjigi has a carefully culled and almost non-existent public profile. Yet the tentacles of his power reach across government agencies, and his hand has been behind some of the greatest deals in the last 15 years.

The businessman’s first interaction with Kenya’s power politics began when he was young. Born in 1962, his father Maina was a senior civil servant with impressive credentials and a bright future.

He joined politics in 1969, when Wanjigi was seven. At only 38, the elder Wanjigi was one of the most learned men in Kenyatta’s circles. An alumni of Alliance High School, Makerere University and Stanford University, his political career spanned two and a half decades and covered several ministries.

Like most men of his generation, the elder Wanjigi created several investment vehicles to handle his money. At the apex of these companies was a single holding firm, Kwacha Group of Companies. Kwacha, in Wanjigi’s story, is a central pillar.

With a political career and a growing fortune, Maina could afford to educate his kids in some of the best schools in Kenya. At St. Mary’’, the younger Wanjigi and his siblings would have the children of the president, the vice president, and other senior government and private sector officials as schoolmates.

In fact, Wanjigi is President Uhuru Kenyatta and Jimmy Kibaki’s age mate and attended school with they and Gideon Moi.

A section of the house in Malindi were police found guns and bullets during a raid on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

A section of the house in Malindi were police found guns and bullets during a raid on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

But unlike the sons of the top politicians, who eventually sought to succeed their fathers in politics, Wanjigi had different ideas. He would use his family connections in government alright, but to achieve something else: absolute power.

Anyone you talk to about Wanjigi in Nairobi, mostly in whispers, will say the man is a self-made. It is when you get to the questions of just where he has made his fortune that things get a bit murky, and whispers become even lower.

Wanjigi is a dealmaker, perhaps the most prolific of them all. According to the Kwacha Group website, the company is run largely by the elder Wanjigi, now in his mid-80s.

But in truth, the real power behind the throne is the younger Wanjigi. A paranoid, extremely well-connected and ruthless dealmaker, Wanjigi’s fingers have been in most major government deals of the last two presidencies.

But his name is almost always missing in official records, a classic Wanjigi move for which he is famous, or perhaps not famous for. To those who know just how powerful yet invisible he is, the man is James Bond.

‘INSPIRING BOTH FEAR AND RESPECT”

It’s hard to find a single source of the career moves Wanjigi took to get where he is today. Sometime in the early 1990s at least, the young ambitious mover entered the world of Kenya’s true finance and became friends with Gideon (then known as The Chairman) and Goldenberg mastermind Kamlesh Pattni.

One of the cogs in this wheel was the Vice President George Saitoti. Like others in those days, they minted millions of dollars in KANU’s final decade in power.

Extremely ambitious, cunning, and loyal, Wanjigi showed an early hand at smoke and mirrors, and became an irreplaceable hand for politicians who needed to benefit from government deals without dirtying their hands.

By 2003, he was a seasoned wheeler-dealer. But still, no one really knows what he produces or provides.

With Kibaki’s government came the second chapter of the Anglo Leasing mess, a procurement scandal instigated by Daniel Moi’s ministers and escalated by Kibaki’s. At the heart of it, according to various US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, was Wanjigi.

According to the cables, the dossier by Ethics and Governance PS John Githongo implicated Wanjigi and a network that included Chris Murungaru, Alfred Getonga, Deepak Kamani and Anura Perera.

In them, Wanjigi was the local middleman, channeling contracts and payments in both directions as the bogus procurement scams were consummated.

For his role in this expose, Githongo was threatened and forced to flee into exile. The diplomatic cables quote Githongo as believing that it was Wanjigi who was behind the death threats. The funny thing is that both of them were schoolmates at the prestigious St Mary’s School: Githongo’s father, Joe, was a wealthy accountant who counted the president among his clients.

A section of the house in Malindi were police found guns and bullets during a raid on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

A section of the house in Malindi were police found guns and bullets during a raid on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

Wanjigi inspires both fear and respect from those who know him, and the few who know of him. It is perhaps an indicator that he has survived three administrations without ever getting into any real trouble. The only times he has were at best minor; trouble with his licensed firearm, a cancelled US visa, and adverse mention in several leaked US diplomatic cables.

But his power and influence mean he has attracted enemies more powerful than him.

For being one of the cogs in government deals, Wanjigi attracted the attention of several foreign spy agencies, the most prominent of which were the CIA and the Swiss Financial police.

He came under the CIA’s radar under the administration of US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger. It continued under Ranneberger’s successor, William Bellamy, and it was under him that Wanjigi lost his visa.

“ORGANISED, MULTINATIONAL CRIME OUTFIT”

But the biggest threat to Wanjigi wasn’t the Americans but the Swiss, particularly Ambassador to Kenya Jacques Pittleoud.

Pittleoud, a marksman, hated Wanjigi’s men. Nairobi’s power watchers say he has the most comprehensive intelligence files on Wanjigi.

Pitteloud, who joined the foreign service in 1988 and was the secret diplomat sent to Tripoli after Gadaffi’s son and his wife were arrested in Switzerland in 2008. He came to Kenya two years later and walked right into the mess that had become Kenya’s procurement and power circles.

Pittleoud chose to focus on the Asian frontmen who were the faces of the Anglo Leasing deals. He put the Swiss financial police on their trail, hoping it would eventually unmask the true beneficiaries of the deals. He also organised elaborate protocols between the Swiss authorities and the Kenyan State Law Office. But he underestimated the power and reach of the main man he was hunting.

In the midst of all this, he fell into a classic Wanjigi trap. He confidently visited Deepak Chamanlal Kamani at his palatial Kyuna, Nairobi, residence, and broke bread with him.

Unfortunately for him, he took much too long with the Anglo Leasing so-called mastermind. Pitteloud’s visit was captured on high-definition CCTV and other hidden cameras that were rigged for sound as well.

He was clearly recorded demanding that Kamani pay Sh55 billion in Anglo Leasing proceeds to a group of Swiss officials he would introduce to him, to avoid prosecution on charges of money laundering that the Swiss authorities were conducting on him.

A few days after the visit, Pitteloud received a copy of an edited version of his lengthy call on Kamani at home. It showed him soliciting a multi-million-dollar bribe, and would be used to ruin his career and name.

Pitteloud, who had mercilessly pursued the Anglo Leasing Asians, including the mysterious Anura Perera, finished his tour of duty in Kenya convinced of one thing: he had come face-to-face with a multinational organised crime outfit.

One of the vehicles found at the Malindi home that police raided on October 16, 2017. /COURTESY

The case followed him first in the form of a suit in 2014 before a Nairobi court and then before the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona in May 2015.

That kind of psychopathic focus on punishment is one of the things Wanjigi is famous for, and with which he instils fear and obedience.

When one of his former schoolmates at St Mary’s, another power broker called Tony Gachoka, used an interview opportunity on Jeff Koinange Live to accuse Wanjigi of having been the mastermind of the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing, he launched a legal war on them.

He had them arrested and charged, then the bail was set at Sh2 million, a surprisingly high amount for defamation.

But Gachoka wouldn’t relent. As the war before the courts raged on, he made a video and posted it on Youtube describing Jimmy ‘James Bond’ Wanjigi and his journey to absolute power.

The video is inaccessible now because Wanjigi got a court order barring Google from allowing access to it. That kind of 360-degree war is classic Wanjigi, launching Machiavellian shadow wars where his name is barely recorded, and always whispered.

Source link-the-star.co.ke

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