Economy

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

abdul

Abdulrahman Imraan Juma alias Abdul. PHOTO | POOL

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Summary

  • Nairobi chief magistrate Wendy Kagendo ruled that Abdulrahman Imraan Juma will remain in custody until the case by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, seeking to extradite him to the USA, is determined.
  • The charges filed against Mr Juma 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.
  • The court ruled on Tuesday that the prosecution had tabled compelling reasons to deny the suspect bond.

A Kenyan man wanted in the USA over claims of money laundering will remain in custody pending the determination of his extradition proceedings.

Nairobi chief magistrate Wendy Kagendo ruled that Abdulrahman Imraan Juma will remain in custody until the case by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, seeking to extradite him to the USA, is determined.

Mr Juma is wanted over claims of money laundering and is alleged to be part of an international gang that conspires to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by targeting unsuspecting businessmen who need loans.

The charges filed against Mr Juma 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.

The court ruled on Tuesday that the prosecution had tabled compelling reasons to deny the suspect bond.

“The offence the suspect is facing is serious which needs an extradition application to be dealt with first before making other orders," said the magistrate.

The suspect had pleaded to be freed on bond saying he will abide by the conditions imposed by the court. The DPP, however, said he was a flight risk.

Mr Juma has been in detention at Gigiri Police station since December 15, 2021, after he was arrested.

Court documents show that Mr Juma and his accomplices target businessmen based in the US and Qatar and hoodwink them that they could offer loans worth millions of shillings.

Once the victim was identified, the accomplices would introduce them to Juma who would in turn 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.

According to court documents, Juma, Abbas and a third defendant faked the financing of a school by posing as bank officials and creating a fake website to convince the businessman to part with his money.

Mr Abbas was arrested in the United Arab Emirates after local police raided his Dubai apartment and later pleaded guilty to the charges.

“We are signifying to the court that a requisition for his extradition and surrender has been made and requires the court to issue a warrant for apprehension and extradition of the fugitive who is accused in the United States District Court for the Central District of California,” said the DPP.

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