MPs, CS and senior state officials in panic over suspected billionaire drug lord Ali Punjani's return

High-flying careers on the line

Mombasa tycoon Ali Punjani

Details have emerged on the panic, confusion and fear that the anticipated return of suspected billionaire drug baron Ali Punjani has caused among several MPs, Cabinet Secretary, PS and other high ranking public officials.

Among those who are reportedly in panic are several MPs, a Cabinet Secretary in the current administration, a serving PS, and a high commissioner to an African country who wined and dined with the embattled businessman, lining up in his office for favours at the prime of his alleged career in drug trafficking.

An officer familiar with the investigations told the Standard that “dozens of politicians, judicial officers and business associates are scared stiff of Punjani’s return in case he is interrogated or makes a deal with the state to spill the beans”.

Like the Akasha brothers, the implicated individual fear that should Punjani decide to confess and spill the beans, it will have devastating consequences, sinking their careers and sending them to jail if convicted.

The embattled businessman whose networks run deep in state and businss circles shot to the limelight in 2009 aftr he donted 6 Million shillins to aid fire victims in Lamu.

According to the officer, their fear is compounded by the fact that the suspected drug lord feels betrayed by the very people he supported at the peak of his empire, is in bad health with dwindling resources and influence.

The officer confirmed that Punjani “has nothing to lose because he is ailing, feels betrayed and his wealth is also dwindling”.

Dwindling fortunes, shunned by friends and loathed by enemies

It is not clear which route the ailing billionaire will take in a bid to clear his name from the allegations labelled against him.

Reports indicate that together with Jubilee Politician Stanley Livondo, Punjani controlled a drug trafficking empire rivalling the Akasha drug network and spread across the globe, raking in billions that were used to bribe state officials, the police and the judiciary.

His empire began to crumble shortly after divorcing Bollywood actress Kim Sharma with the divorce settlement taking a toll on him.

In 2017, he sold the Nyali International Beach Hotel as authorities closed in after he was named in the trade by Indian drug lord and convicted felon Vijayghiri Goswami.

Twice in two weeks, Punjani who is in India for treatment has postponed his return with his lawyers pushing for anticipatory bail.

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