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Police find 5 rifles, bullets in Wanjigi’s Malindi villa

Police find 5 rifles, bullets in Wanjigi’s Malindi villa

Police yesterday raided two homes of billionaire businessman Jimmy Wanjigi and said they recovered five AK-47 rifles and 93 bullets.

The first house raided a multi-agency team is a palatial home in Malindi, Kilifi county, where the officers recovered the weapons and arrested four workers.

A later raid at Wanjigi’shome in Nairobi’s Muthaiga estate was frustrated when police accessed the compound, but were unable to enter. Wanjigi had locked the doors and refused to admit them. The standoff was continuing as at 7.30pm.

Wanjigi is a fabulously wealthy and secretive tycoon recently associated with NASA as a financier, but he never funded much of anything and the association reportedly ended.

Yesterday, NASA leaders visited Wanjigi’s heavily guarded Muthaiga home — across the street from the US Ambassador’s residence — and declared the police siege a political act of intimidation.

“There is no basis for police to continue being here as they have no arrest warrant. This is an illegal act pointing to circumstances aimed at trumping up charges,” Siaya Senator James Orengo said.

Orengo, a top NASA lawyer, told reporters in Muthaiga it has information the Malindi property does not belong to Wanjigi “and the cache of firearms were planted.”

“Wanjigi is being tormented because of his association with NASA, he is being haunted because he switched to NASA and it appears some quarters are not happy,” Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said.

The early morning raid in Malindi was confirmed to reporters by regional police chief Mutawa Muchangi at his office yesterday.

The Star learnt police were planning to arrest the businessman and question him about the findings in the Malindi home.

The entrance has a well-manicured garden and well-polished cabro works.

There are six houses in the compound: the main house, three guest houses and two servants’ quarters. There is another house and a gazebo.

The guest houses, all ensuite, can accommodate close to 10 people. Each of the houses has two huge beds.

There’s an outdoor gym and three swimming pools, surrounded by palm treas.

The sitting room contains a 60-inch television and brown sofas. There is a golden-metallic house phone in the living room with extensions numbers marked on laminated paper.

From the home directory, the master can call the kitchen, workers’ quarters, and each of 12 bedrooms from his chair.

CCTV cameras are mounted at strategic corners, including the bedrooms.

The living room can accommodate 50 people.

The parking lot in front has spaces for 10 cars.

Yesterday, the Star found four high-end vehicles in the compound, including a black Porsche Cayenne and Toyota Land Cruisers.

A worker told the Star one of them was charged with cleaning the vehicles daily. There are full-time four domestic workers.

Among many other business interests, Wanjigi is reported to be a licenced arms dealer, whose company supplied arms to the Kibaki government.

The regional police chief displayed weapons recovered by the Flying Squad, DCI, Special Crimes Prevention Unit and the Malindi police.

Workers said Wanjigi is their boss and documents found at the residence bear the name of the Kwacha Group of Companies, associated with the businessman.

One documents related to work on a generator. The customer is listed at Kwacha Group of Companies (Malindi).

A search of the Porsche (plate KBH 441Q) showed it is registered to Aldewright Consultants Limited.

Wanjigi has been associated with NASA since the pre-August 8 elections, but has not attended the opposition’s high-profile events. He was, however, with Raila’s team in Bomas of Kenya during the release of the election results.

The controversial business mogul, is reported to have financed he opposition coalition.

Yesterday afternoon, the Flying squad and Special Crimes Prevention Unit raided Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home.

Wanjigi, popularly known as JW, is the son of former Starehe MP Maina Wanjigi. Yesterday the elderly Wanjigi entered his son’s house in Muthaiga as the police standoff ensued.

A group of police officers arrived at Wanjigi’s heavily guarded home around 1pm and demanded access, insisting they had a search warrant. The security guards refused to admit them.

After nearly an hour, police threatened to blow up the gate. The gates then were opened but the house remained locked.

Separately, another team of Flying Squad officers was dispatched to Isiolo where two AK-47 were found on two AP officers who could not explain their origin.

The two officers are suspected to have hidden the guns in a truck that they were using to transport charcoal to Nairobi.

Yesterday, police chiefs in Nairobi said they were investigating a wider scheme of firearms smuggling from Somalia to Kenya.

Police did not disclose whether the weapons found at the Malindi home were connected with the guns smuggled from Somalia.

Wanjigi was a personal friend to powerful Internal Security minister George Saitoti and through his close proximity to State House, secured huge government contracts.

The Malindi home where the five guns and 93 bullets were recovered is in Ngoe, a serene neighbourhood in Malindi town, along the Malindi-Lamu road.

The home one one acre is registered in the names of two Italian nationals.

However, a worker who would not give his name, said the property has since changed hands and the new owner is Jimmy Wanjigi.

Malindi police chief Muchangi said police are investigating whether the businessman indeed owns the home.


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