KENYA: WIKILEAKS SAYS ARTUR BROTHERS WERE SHIELDED BY TOP OFFICIALS
March 1 2011
Nairobi – “Very interesting people, indeed. They seemed to have it
their way,” was the observation by then Speaker Francis ole Kaparo
in June 2006 when he allowed Parliament to debate a report on the
activities of the infamous Artur brothers.
And in a cable to his bosses in Washington, then US envoy William
Bellamy revealed that Armenian brothers Artur Sargsyan and Artur
Margaryan had close links with powerful offices in government.
The cable, wired to Washington in March 2006, linked the Artur brothers
to a drug trafficking syndicate, attempts to block revelations on grand
corruption in government and the raid on the Standard Group offices.
Mr Bellamy says the “hitmen” were brought into the country and
protected by officials close to State House. The officials also used
their connections to accord the brothers privileges, including one
being bestowed the title of assistant Commissioner of police.
Mr Bellamy says: “The presence in Kenya of armed foreigners working
on behalf of ruling elements has alarmed many Kenyans.”
Mr Bellamy, then political counsel Michael Fritzpatrick, and embassy
officials interviewed State House and government officials, opposition
politicians to corroborate the cable.
A former top official at the Attorney General’s office is quoted
as having told Mr Fritzpatrick that he believed the Artur brothers
were brought into the country by a political activist, a State House
official and a top CID officer in December 2005. They were accommodated
at a five-star hotel in Nairobi before moving to Runda.
Their arrival coincided with high level investigations into a huge haul
of cocaine allegedly brought into the country by the Akasha family.
Relevant Links East Africa Kenya ICT Legal Affairs Infrastructure
Urban Issues Business “Some believe these same foreigners played a role
(via the Akasha crime family) in the 2004 cocaine shipments seized in
Kenya and have now returned to intimidate opponents from releasing
information incriminating (State House) in any illicit activities,”
the cable says.
The cable says ODM leader Raila Odinga gave the address of the Runda
house where the Arturs were suspected to keep drugs before US embassy
officials stumbled on it.
The cable alleges the government raided the Standard offices following
a tip that they were about to publish a story implicating State House
in graft and drug trafficking.
The Standard editors are said to have been told by a police officer
that the information they had could easily bring down the government.
From: A. Papazian