Bashir moved millions to Somalia – state sources


He had first received millions of shillings from a top Somali government official before he channeled more back

In Summary

  • Bashir was related to top Somali government officials and moved money to them, police and intelligence sources say.
  • Kenya and Somalia have disagreed on major issues including the miraa trade, the maritime border in the Indian Ocean and Somaliland. 

Slain Somali-American businessman Bashir Mohamed Mohamud was on the intelligence system radar for receiving and sending huge sums of money to Somalia.

Kenyan government officials said he had first received millions of shillings from a top Somali government official before he channelled it back to various different banks.

The money, according to officials, sometimes moved through foreign accounts before ending up in Mogadishu, which raised suspicions.

Bashir, 36, was tortured and strangled to death, a postmortem on Monday has found. The body bore deep cuts, bruises and the toenails had been pulled out. The body also bore burn marks. 

The postmortem was performed by chief government pathologist Johanson Oduor and two other pathologists representing the family and their lawyer.

DCI officials also attended the autopsy at Umash funeral home in Nairobi.

State sources said Bashir was related to top Somali government officials, hence, the trusted money connection.

“In as much as I can’t connect the death to the money issue, there was a feeling he was channelling money to Mogadishu, which is technically at war with Kenya. It was a concern,” a senior official said in confidence. 

All sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Bashir, a structural engineer and proprietor of Infinity Developers based in Nairobi, went missing as he after left Miale Lounge in Lavington, Nairobi, where he had gone for a meeting and Eid celebrations.

Kenya and Somalia have disagreed on major issues including the miraa trade, the maritime border in the Indian Ocean and Somaliland. Diplomatic ties were severed, then there were reports of reconciliation but no improvement has been evident.

Kenyan government officials say he was funding an enemy. But there has been no confirmation if this was the reason for his murder.

In one RTGS money transfer, Bashir used a company to wire money to Sudan, which ended up in Mogadishu. He had won construction tenders worth billions of shillings in Kenya. Among them was the construction of the Sh700 million Kisumu market. Other contractors were involved.

He once accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta in commissioning the project. It is not clear how he secured the tender.

Bashir was buried on Monday at Lang’ata Cemetery.

His body was  found on the banks of River Nyamindi, in Kirinyaga county on May 16, three days after he went missing.

Family lawyers said they will request the office of the DPP to institute an inquest probe to determine the circumstances of his death.

Lawyer Charles Madowo said the US government had seconded an FBI agent to partner with DCI in the murder probe.

Bashir was last seen in the company of as-yet-unidentified persons at 5pm. The sighting was before his vehicle, a Range Rover (KCQ007P) was captured by CCTV cameras leaving the premises an hour later.

In the footage, Bashir was seen tipping guards. Part of the footage shows that a few seconds later, his vehicle stopped, apparently obstructed by another vehicle.

There was a traffic snarl-up on the left lane and no vehicles were seen moving from the right side, an indication a vehicle had blocked the road.

Curious pedestrians are seen looking at what could be a commotion near Bashir’s car. At that time, Bashir tried to call his wife, but the call was interrupted and his phone went dead.

The family says there must have been a scuffle and his phone was switched off.

However, data from a leading telco traced the phone to Ngong Road, which is also where the police last traced his car.

It also emerged police took the footage on May 13. The car was found burnt in a thicket in Kibiku area, Ngong, Kajiado county.

A missing persons report was made at the Muthangari police station on May 15 and an investigation was opened.

Bashir’s friends said he was a resident of Ohio state in the US. His friends said he ran a construction company that worked in civil engineering, real estate and architecture. 

Bashir originally came from Belad Hawa in Somalia before relocating to the US.

Officials said Bashir was among others involved in the ongoing political standoff in Somalia.

Bashir was first married in America but the couple divorced. He remarried and for three years has been living in Kenya.

“He often travels back to America but he is mostly based here with his wife and family,” a lawyer said.

One of his lawyers, Nuru Said, said on the day he is believed to have been abducted or gone missing, Bashir was supposed to meet  people for a business meeting but he cancelled it because it was a holiday.

Family and friends tried unsuccessfully to trace his whereabouts using a tracking device in his car.

Lawyer Alibayi Hassan said the tracking vehicle company had installed the features in the car but they could not trace it.

“But the systems could not trace the exact location of the motor vehicle for unknown reasons,” he said.

Days later, a shell of a motor vehicle was spotted in Kibiku and a dealer who had been informed alerted police.

Police from Ngong rushed to the scene and went back to the station.

But when they returned a few hours later, they said they found the remains of the shell had been collected by unknown people.

The officers had taken photos of the burnt vehicle. It had been destroyed beyond  recognition.

The remains of the car were to have been subjected to forensic examination, which would determine if there had been anyone else inside.

Detectives are investigating the scene.