Kibaki link in bogus
By Anchor Reporters and Agencies
THE ongoing probe on the drama of Kenya's latest fake Assistant Commissioner of Police Joshua Waiganjo is mere shifting of musical chairs. For Waiganjo is not the first such a fake guy.
|The Artur Brothers|
More lethal fake police officers have existed, a more significant probe conducted and the report is gathering dust in state shelves.Observers looking at the Waiganjo saga believe that nothing will come out of the probe because nothing was done on the findings of the existence of two foreigners Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan, both connected to what the State wants to portray as a fake wife of President Mwai Kibaki, yet she is his real heir-apparent in Othaya- Ms Mary Wambui.
Besides, it is emerging that striking similarities exist in the two fake police officers saga. The Artur brothers were foreigners who held the positions of Deputy Commissioner of Police, had access to sensitive security areas, brandished guns around, got involved in crimila activities, used Government of Kenya vehicles, had links with the police and the police never acted to stop them.
In the case of Waiganjo, he held the position of Assistant Commissioner of Police, over-shadowed the Rift Valley Deputy Provincial Police Officer, operated within the police command structure in the Rift Valley, attended key security meetings in the province, used police vehicles for his errands, wore police uniform and insignia of senior officers, rode to a key meeting in a police chopper with top security brass in Rift Valley, demoted, promoted, deployed police officers, was a suspected criminal, was known by police to be an imposter, yet nothing was done to stop this menace.
Now, as with the Artur Brothers, an inquiry has been instituted and it is unlikely that any action will be taken. If the accomplices of the Artur brothers were never prosecuted, what makes anyone think that anyone- including former Rift Valley PPO Mr John M'mbijjiwe- will be taken to court for whatever crime that clearly took place?. If the the daughter of alleged fake wife of Kibaki- Winnie Mwai- was betrothed to one of the Artur brothers as one of them claimed, who on earth would have wanted to risk his job by arresting this inordinate and likely in-law of Mwai Kibaki?
Observers are frightened by the common denominator in the fake cops episodes: Crime networks. It is unbelievable that dubious senior police titles have been allotted to people who now seem linked to the axis of crime in Kenya.
In the Artur Brothers case, reports of big time drug peddling have not been rebutted beyond mere denials by the police themselves. In the Waiganjo saga, evidence is emerging from the cases lined up for him that he most likely was the centrifugal force in the army of robbers ravaging highways in the region and most frightening- cattle rusting in Northern Rift Valley. How else would a civilian police alleged to be a Kenya Police Reservist from Njoro in Nakuru be in the center of operations against cattle rustlers in Baragoi when he had neither the capacity, expertise nor the capacity to do so other that that to meddle?
Could it be that the police is actually the author of the very crime it is formed to fight? Analysts see the existence of bogus police officers to have a link with President Mwai Kibaki= not merely because of the alleged fake wife link with the Arturs but his inability to act on the report that would have resulted in action that would forewarn anyone planning to aide another to pose as a police officer. " His failure to make public the Artur Brothers report and cause action to be taken now shows that anyone will do the same thing and nothing will happen to him. The inital cons were Deputy Commissioners of Police. Waiganjo is an Assistant Commissioner of Police. This is likely to go on and on if it is not already taking place, said a security analyst who declined to be named.
Even as the Waiganjo inquiry came to a close, there was loud silence what was the position of the National Intelligence Service over this matter. It is very unlikely that its agents in Nakuru and the province at large knew nothing about this bogus entity that at one time was introduced variously as Officer Commanding Police Division Njoro or as the Provincial Police Officer's Personal Assistant.
Just to put matters into proper perspective, The Anchor has lifted a verbatim excerpt of a report by agencies that ostensibly relies on reportage by investigative journalists from the Standard Group.
" Standard Group journalists show key State agents and politically connected people had a hand in bringing the men to Kenya and embedding several of them as senior police officers in the Criminal Investigations Department. This is why they received help and protection from various State agents who believed they were in Kenya on legitimate, Government-sanctioned operations.
This was also why an April 2006 meeting chaired by former Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and attended by top security officials decided to take no action over the mercenaries despite an NSIS report that suggested they were drug dealers.
For about three months, the so-called Artur brothers had free run of Nairobi police stations from which they took vehicle number plates with which to disguise their unit’s cars. One of them even visited the secure installation where the 1,141kg of cocaine was being stored until two cases in court were completed.
Soldiers of fortune
The man who appeared to be their leader has been videotaped saying he was hired to set up a secret police unit to deal with drug trafficking using foreign “soldiers of fortune”. Artur Margaryan, who uses a false name, says this was why he was appointed a deputy police commissioner, serving under then CID boss Joseph Kamau. In a recent interview conducted via the online video-call service Skype, Mr Margaryan described the men he brought into the country as “Russian instructors” meant to train Kenyan law enforcement officials on tackling drug-related crime. He claims they were hired legally to set up a unit inside the CID that would tackle organised crime.
Margaryan is not considered a reliable source, having lied publicly about his dealings with key opposition figures. The false allegations he made at press conferences in 2006 were part of a strategy to distract attention from other accusations being made against him. However, his claims of a secret unit echo remarks allegedly made by a senior opposition figure in March 2006 in a conversation with American diplomats in Nairobi.
A US diplomatic cable leaked by the Wikileaks whistle-blowing site claims the former minister said a prominent political activist and her allies at State House and in the Police force had attempted to set up a secret unit in the CID. These are the same people Margaryan names as his local contacts.
We could not determine whether Margaryan has read the diplomatic cable, which is available online.
The report of a joint parliamentary team investigating the Artur saga named Narc activist Mary Wambui, then CID boss Joseph Kamau and former Special Advisor to the President Stanley Murage as key players in the Artur saga. Also named was the Internal Security minister at the time, John Michuki. Both Kamau and Murage, said to be allies of Wambui, were shunted out of their positions after the Artur saga exploded into the public domain.
Our investigations have identified at least six accomplices of the so-called ‘Artur brothers’ who entered Kenya around 2006. Like Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan, some of the six men used several false names and travel documents to move in and out of the country when conducting their activities. Most were from Eastern bloc or former Soviet Union countries and have been described by American diplomats as being possibly Russians, Bosnians or Ukrainians.
Other sources say the men were enforcers for the Russian mafia, which has been linked to the drug trade in Latin America and is made up of criminals from Eastern bloc nations. The Arturs themselves insist they are Armenian nationals, a matter that is the subject of debate.
Two or more of these men were allowed to remain in the country after the Government staged a fake deportation to get rid of four of them.
Mr Richard Nerima, a former police officer who was then working for the Artur’s local contact, businessman Rajendra Sanghani, recently told KTN’s investigative team he counted eight men in the group, including the two ‘brothers’.
Reports from two official investigations into the activities of the group show the eight men used as many as 16 different names on fake documents from several countries to hide their identities. Some of the names and travel documents were shared between several people.
The parliamentary report also concluded that then Immigration minister Gideon Konchellah was involved in staging a fake deportation of Margaryan, Sargasyan, Dmitri Taschi and Alexander Pack on Mr Michuki’s instructions.
The circumstances around the ‘deportation’ suggest the men were helped to flee to Dubai after the airport gun incident that sparked calls for their arrest. Two Tanzanian men hired as bodyguards for the group, identified as Lucas Makena and Nobert Ntwenya, were escorted to the Namanga border point and allowed to leave. Shifana Alarakya, the Kenyan woman found in the Runda house, has never been charged as a suspect or accomplice in any crime. Neither have Aloise Omita, Julius Maina and Raju Sanghani, three Kenyans who they relied upon for various facilitation services.
The fate of at least three other men who were in the group remains a mystery. Nyarkashan Trenor, Manish Yadav and Aman Qureshi vanished into thin air after the alleged deportation of the Arturs.
The question of where these mercenaries came from has also never been answered. While they claimed to be Armenians, their suspect travel documents linked them to Russia and Moldovia. Government officials allowed the group to use obviously fake papers to avoid a paper trail that would help unmask them.
Responding to a question in Parliament a month after the Arturs led a raid on the Standard Group, Mirugi Kariuki, an assistant minister in the Office of the President, claimed the Armenian Government had confirmed Margaryan and Sargasyan were Armenian citizens. Konchellah later claimed they were Czechs. Both these statements have since been proven false. Responding to questions from KTN’s Mohammed Ali and Dennis Onsarigo via Skype from Dubai, Artur Margaryan insisted he was Armenian and had been hired legally to help the police track down drug traffickers. He claims he had been prepared to provide evidence to the public inquiries into the matter but was prevailed upon by Mr Murage not to do so. Murage ended a phone interview with Ali and Onsarigo before he could be asked about this.
The former Special Advisor to the President is one of several people whose connections with the group Parliament wants investigated. A report prepared by a joint team co-chaired by Mr Paul Muite and Mr Ramadhan Kajembe also wanted to look into the roles played by then Internal Security minister John Michuki (now deceased), Francis Muthaura, Mary Wambui, Winnie Wangui, Raju Sanghani and Kamlesh Pattni.
No public action has been taken to pursue this line of thinking. As a result, those named remain the beneficiaries of an embarrassed Government’s reluctance to shine a light on one of the more bizarre incidents in Kenya’s security history"