Rise and fall of the Akasha drug empire

Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga

When Ibrahim Akasha, a notorious drug baron was killed in  Amsterdam in 2000, his eldest son Kamaldin quickly stepped into his shoes.

The family patriarch, had built an elaborate underworld drug trade empire that controlled drug trade across four continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and America. It is this underworld business empire that Kamaldin wanted to inherit. 

The drug lord specialised in importation of hard drugs such as heroin, hashish, cocaine and methamphetamine mainly from Mexico, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The drugs would be brought to Kenya and later shipped to United States, European countries and Asia.

Ibrahim had built a network of drug trafficking syndicate that run deep in governments. In Kenya, he wielded a lot of power on almost every State agency and lived large in posh estates in Mombasa’s Nyali  and Nairobi’s Whispers, driving numberless vehicles.  

His deep pockets and “generosity” bought him political and economic connections, and links with all sectors of investment including banking industry and transport sector where he put his millions.

He acquired immense control on the port of Mombasa as this would be his key transit point to drugs. He had once successfully smuggled an entire container of drugs through the Mombasa Port.

In Mombasa, the name Akasha came to be identified with money, power and notoriety. During his heydays, reports say he could drive into Coast region police headquarters or any police station with sackload of money and throw it to the police bosses and their juniors. They would in turn scramble to collect and stuff into their pockets.

Using his connections, Ibrahim entangled the Judiciary in an intricate web that ensured  he would never be convicted of any crime including drug trade.

His money bought him freedom to trade in drugs without fear of arrest or being jailed. However, some 18 years ago, the feared drug lord got into a trap and was killed by a lone gunman in the streets of Netherlands.

But even after his death, his name was kept alive by his three sons Kamaldin, Baktash and Ibrahim. Kamaldin, his first son entered into the business and for the next two years, he would learn the ropes and renew trade ties with the drug distribution network that his father had built over the years.

However, this was not to last, he was killed in family disagreements over drug supply payment he had refused to share with his brothers. Like his father, Kamaldin fell to an assassin’s bullet at his Zamzam petrol station near Makupa Police Station.

His younger brother Baktash, took over the family business and for years operated without anyone touching him until together with his younger brother Ibrahim, and some foreign business partners fell into a US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) trap.

Baktash Akasha, 42, Ibrahim Akasha, 30, Gulam Hussein, 63, (Pakistan) and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami, 57, (Indian) were arrested in Mombasa, following a request by the United States on charges filed in the Southern District of New York arising out of a conspiracy to import heroin and methamphetamine into the US. 

The suspect’s extradition proceedings in court turned into episodes of unending drama that looked like a mockery to our Judiciary system as they had immense influence on the Judiciary. The drama was however, cut short on Monday when the suspects were forcibly handed over to the US authorities by the government.

With the two heirs of  Akasha pleading guilty to the charges of trafficking drugs into the US, the drug empire  has  perhaps crumbled.

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