The name Ali Punjani has hit headlines as police have intensified a hunt on the Mombasa tycoon suspected to be involved in the drug trade.
He is a man said to have rubbed shoulders with the high and might in the Kenyan society.
Reports have claimed that his influence is far and wide to the extent of having 19 police officers guarding his home at one time.
The war on drugs has cast his name as one of the most wanted individuals in the country with the government using every machinery at its disposal to get him.
An image online is considered his first photograph taken in public alongside retired president Mwai Kibaki and politician Naomi Shabaan.
Rubbing shoulders with the mighty
The photograph was taken during a fundraising drive of victims of the Faza Island ire in 2009 where Ksh64 million was raised.
Reports claimed that Punjani made a personal contribution of Ksh6 million in the presence of the former President and then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
During that time the war on drugs had intensified as the government was looking to fight the vice which has rendered many young people useless and destroyed lives.
In a dossier prepared by the United States embassy and handed to the EACC Internal Security Minister George Saitoti named Punjani among suspected drug lords in the country.
He is said to have flourished in the illegal drug trade and further collaborated with the infamous Akasha brothers but later they fell out.
Fight with Akasha brothers
The rivalry between two alleged biggest drug lord families burst into open on the new year’s eve after Punjani and the Akasha brothers were involved in a club fight where guns were drawn.
When the Akasha brothers were arrested and extradited to the United States, attention turned to Punjani after witnesses mentioned him.
For a private citizen, Punjani has a road in Mombasa named after him.
At one time he married a famous Bollywood star Kim Sharma in 2010 before they divorced in 2016.