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Banks, M-Pesa links in Dusit Hotel attack

Security officers arrive at 14 Riverside Drive
Security officers arrive at 14 Riverside Drive to combat suspected terrorists on January 15, 2019. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

A Magistrate’s Court will Thursday decide whether it will grant bonds to seven suspects linked to the Dusit Hotel with the prosecution terming them financiers.

Hassan Abdi Nur, Ismael Sadiq Abitham, Ali Khamisi Ali, Abdinoor Maalima Osmail, Abdullahi Muhumed Hassan and Sophia Njoki Mbogo were day arraigned before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Anti-Terrorism Police Unit told the court they were arrested in various parts of Nairobi.

The court heard that Nur operates an M-Pesa business.

He allegedly registered 47 accounts in October last year out of the 52 he registered in the last three months of 2018.

All the 47 accounts were registered using two handsets located to Eastleigh but had different identity cards and names.

He allegedly received huge amounts of money from South Africa, which would be withdrawn through a specific till number at Diamond Trust Bank before being sent to Somalia.

Abitham, the second suspect, was in constant communication with the main attacker who was killed during the 14 Riverside raid, Ali Salim Gichunge and wife Violet Omwoyo Kemunto.

He is accused of being involved in money laundering and transacting funds believed to have been used in terrorism.

Ali, the third suspect, is a marketing manager with Horizon TV and is believed to have been in communication with several contacts in Somalia who are suspected to be members of the Al-Shabaab.

Osmail, the fourth suspect, is a graduate of the Kenya School of Law and is undergoing his pupilage.

He is believed to have registered several mobile phone numbers used to receive money for terrorism. In the last few months, he allegedly received Sh100 million.

Ms Mbogo, who is the sixth suspect, is a branch manager at DTB Eastleigh branch.

Police accuse her of allowing huge sums of monies to be cashed within a very short period of time without demanding evidence.

While the rest of the suspects were arrested on Tuesday, Ms Mbogo was picked up on Wednesday.

A seventh suspect, Isaak Omar Mohammed, was arrested in Wajir.

Eight more suspects are being detained for 30 days.

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