The mystery and actual dealings of the deported Turkish national Harun Aydin deepened yesterday after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i linked him to an intricate web involved in trans-national crimes among them money laundering within the East African region.
Of interest is the alleged Sh15billion loan facility advanced to him by Equity Bank as investment capital for his said business venture in Uganda.
However, Equity Group Holdings Plc has remained tight-lipped on the matter that has sparked national security concerns and raised the antennae of security agencies in the country and within the region.
Appearing before the National Security and Administration Committee of the National Assembly in Mombasa yesterday, Matiang’i told the committee Aydin was deported over suspicion of money laundering and interaction with known syndicate of criminal networks with the EAC.
“One of his associates in a neighbouring country had actually been arrested in a third country while he was bribing a minister. So when this was flagged to us, we also of course got interested in this person that is how we tracked his movement in Sudan, Zanzibar, Goma, Uganda. That is behaviour in most cases is characteristic of people engaged in money laundering and you know money laundering and terrorism are crimes that usually joined in the hip.” Matiang’i said.
Pressure is mounting to have officials from Equity Bank and the Deputy President William Ruto summoned by the National Assembly Security committee to shed light on the matter.
“We must summon Ruto before the parliamentary committee to speak on these matters and give us an answer. Let him come before the parliamentary committee.” Siaya Senator James Orengo said yesterday.
By the time of going to press, Equity Bank had not responded to queries by The Informer to clarify if indeed Aydin is their client as claimed, if the said loan capital of Sh15billion was advanced to him and the level of due diligence of Know Your Customer (KYC) undertaken before advancing the said loan facility.
“Thank you for writing to us. We have received your message with the subject: Media Query and assigned it ticket number 210814-002642 for ease of reference. One of our service staff will get back to you shortly.” A feedback message from Equity Bank read in part.
“We noticed, in tracing movement in his passport that he was moving around. He was in Sudan, Goma, Zanzibar, Entebbe and of course our sister intelligence and security agencies because as a government we have signed security agreements on intelligence sharing agreements with so many governments and when people see things they flag up. One of our sister security agency flagged up this gentlemen for two reasons; one they noticed that he had been travelling around the region and two, they noticed that he was keeping the company of people who are involved money laundering.” The CS added.
Aydin, who was part of the team in DP William Ruto’s failed trip to Uganda last Monday, was arrested on Saturday by officers from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and detained for questioning and then deported to Instabul, Turkey.
Matiang’i dismissed claims that the government apologised over Aydin’s deportation despite protest by Ruto and his allies. Ruto had apologised to his Turkish ally through a Twitter post.
“The government of the Republic of Kenya cannot, would not and has not apologized, because there is nothing wrong we have done on this matter, and we have done what we have agreed with the Turkish government, to deport their citizen so that they can deal with him,’’ said Matiang’i.