Kim Sharma's ex escapes Kenya's war on drugs, Is he hiding in India?

Updated: Aug 13, 2019, 08:13 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Suraj Ojha

Ali Punjani, who Kim Sharma divorced two years ago, suspected to be part of big drug ring in Kenya; sources say he may be headed to Mumbai after fleeing from his Mombasa home on Monday

Kim Sharma's ex escapes Kenya's war on drugs, Is he hiding in India?
Kim Sharma

The Mombasa police raided the sprawling bungalow of business tycoon Ali Punjani, former husband of actor Kim Sharma, in a crackdown on drugs on Monday, just a day after its Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i announced a war on drug trafficking in Kenya's coastal region. Sources told mid-day that Punjani is suspected to be on his way to Mumbai to undergo medical treatment, possibly to delay or evade his arrest.

The Cabinet Secretary was in Mombasa to urge police to flush out all drug traffickers, sources in the Kenyan police told mid-day. Punjani's name popped up during the interrogation of Kenyan brothers Baktash and Ibrahim Akasha whose sentencing in a huge drug trafficking case is awaited in New York.

Also Read: Mumbai Police seize Range Rover in possession of Kim Sharma

The New York court has postponed the sentencing of the brothers to August 16, 2019, and November 8, 2019, respectively. They have been convicted for running an elaborate drug network in East Africa, Afghanistan, Europe and the United States. In 2014 and 2015, the Akashas' primary drug-trafficking rival in Mombasa was Punjani.

"The war on drugs will continue, we won't spare anyone whether rich or poor. We are not giving him [Punjani] any ultimatum, let him just surrender. We've also arrested a member of the Mombasa County Assembly who is a suspect in drug trafficking. Investigations are ongoing, and so far we've arrested 18 people and more are on our radar," said the source.

Ali Punjani
Ali Punjani's house in Mombasa was raided on Monday

"We got a tip-off from our detectives and members of the public that Ali Punjani is trafficking drugs. That is why we moved in very quickly and raided his house to search for the drugs and ascertain the reports. We will ransack the house until we are sure there are no drugs. If he is in Kenya, let him surrender at any police station. If he is abroad let him come home fast. He must ascertain the reports. Those collaborating with him should surrender. We already have 18 names," said Johnstone Ipara, Mombasa Police Commander addressing the Kenyan media.

A senior IPS officer from Mumbai police neither confirmed nor denied receiving any request from their Kenyan counterparts to arrest Punjani.

Also Read: Mumbai police serve notice to Kim Sharma, ex-husband Ali Punjani

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