Economy

Court orders release on bond of Kenyan wanted in US

abdul

Abdulrahman Imraan Juma alias Abdul. PHOTO | POOL

The High Court has ordered the release on bond of a Kenyan man wanted in the United States over money laundering claims.

Mr Abdulrahman Imraan Juma has been in custody since December when he was arrested and awaiting extradition to the US.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji filed proceedings for his extradition to face money laundering charges, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Mr Juma had been denied bail by Nairobi Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo, saying he might flee, defeating the extradition proceedings.

But High Court judge Dorah Chekwony has directed Mr Juma to deposit a bond of Sh1 million and a surety of the same amount.

The judge said even though Mr Juma has two passports, one of which is undocumented, and has close relations with persons in Uganda and Tanzania, he was not a flight risk because he has a family in Kenya.

The judge said the trial magistrate court cannot determine the seriousness of the offence when determining bail.

The DPP had argued that the offences were serious, and if convicted, he would face a maximum of 20 years in jail.

Read: Kenyan wanted in US over dirty money to be held in custody

Mr Juma is alleged to be part of an international gang that conspires to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by targeting unsuspecting business people who need loans.

The charges, filed against him in the US District Court for the Central District of California, state that he faces up to 61 counts of money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Documents filed by the DPP in Nairobi show that Mr Juma and his accomplices target business people based in the US and Qatar and hoodwinked them that they could offer loans worth millions of dollars.

Once a victim was identified, the accomplices would introduce them to Mr Juma who would then falsely claim that he would provide the loan through his company in Kenya.

Mr Juma is said to have worked with Nigerian influencer Ramon Abbas - also known as Hushpuppi - to defraud a Qatari school founder.

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