Avic International: 9 Chinese Contractors arrested in Nairobi, Kenya
Sonko has confirmed the arrest of the 9 Chinese nationals, and various Kenyans.
The nine have been accused of building without approval from the National Environmental Management Authority. The building is said to have encroached on the road. They have since been freed on Sh100,000 cash bail each.
“We wish to inform the general public especially people residing around Parklands, Westlands and Riverside that we have this morning stopped the construction of the Avic International Building along Chiromo Road and arrested all the Chinese and Kenyan contactors on site for defying the county planning laws by encroaching on the famous Chiromo close public access which is a feeder road to Chiromo lane which feeds Chiromo road and then Waiyaki Way,” Sonko has said in a statement to the press.
The building stands next luxurious Kempinski Hotel and earlier, there were claims that the two – Kempinski and Avic, had been embroiled in a legal battle over dominance in the area.
In July 2015, the Chinese manufacturing giant Avic International broke the ground for Sh9.6 billion building, which will be its Africa hub in Nairobi after allegedly obtaining approval from city leaders.
The company said that it had received all the requisite approvals from City Hall for the 250,000-square metre complex after it paid permit fees amounting to Sh97.2 million.
The Avic complex sits on a 7.5-acre plot in Westlands – bordering Villa Rosa Kempinski, ARM Cement headquarters and the Mirage Towers.
The facility comprises a 43-level office tower; a 35-level hotel tower; and four apartment towers of 24 levels, 28 levels, 24 levels and 25 levels respectively.
On completion, it will also have a 4-level commercial podium on the western side of Chiromo Lane connected to a 5-level podium on the side of the lane with a 2-level bridge.
On Thursday, however, Mr Sonko claimed that AVIC international “refused to do a public surrender on the property they acquired as provided for in the county laws.”
“It is alleged that they paid a substantial under table amount totaling to 2 million dollars equivalent 200,000,000/= in cash to the previous administration as protection fee and we should confirm that with the current staff in the building plans approval department Bosses who are still with us,” said Sonko.
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