Wanted Tycoon in India undergoing heart surgery

Out of the country in hospital for crucial surgery

Home of  Ali Punjani which was raided by police on Monday (The Star - Photo)

Mombasa tycoon Ali Punjani, who is being hunted by police over drug trafficking, is admitted in a hospital after undergoing surgery.

Reports by the Daily Nation claimed that Mr Punjani was admitted at the Asian Heart Institute in India where he underwent open-heart surgery last week.

His personal assistant Kakawat Pankaj told journalists that Mr Punjani's lawyers will be at his home in Nyali to allow police officers to search it in the absence of the tycoon.

According to reports, Mr Punjani was referred to India after a check-up at The Heart Lung Diagnostic Centre in Mombasa. 

"The above patient (Mr Punjani) was admitted on July 29, 2019, following a heart attack/acute coronary syndrome. An angiogram done showed significant CAD with blocked coronary arteries.

Letter from hospital

"This is not amenable with angioplasty and he has been advised to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting urgently. This has been arranged at the Asian Heart Institute for next week," a letter from the diagnostic centre reads.

The information was released barely hours after detectives from the multiagency team raided his house in Mombasa County in connection to the drugs crackdown at the Coast.

The swoop came a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced a looming “painful period for criminal gangs and drug lords” in the coastal city.

Reports emerged that Punjani had been assigned 19 police officers as bodyguards, signalling his immense influence within the national security apparatus.

Named in drug case in New York

Before the raid Mombasa County commander Johnston Ipara said: “We received information that Mr Punjani is involved in drug trafficking."

He continued: "We will not move out of here until we get into the house. We ask him wherever he is to surrender himself to any nearby police station for interrogation.

Mr Punjani was last month mentioned in a New York court by Indian national Vijaygiri Goswami, who has been charged in the foreign country alongside Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha over drugs trafficking.

In his allegations before the New York court, Mr Goswami described Mr Punjani as a rival drug lord of the Akasha in Mombasa.

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