Police have linked two men arrested in Mombasa with wildlife trophies worth three million to financing terrorism and dealing in narcotics.
The two Ali Hajji Omar and Said Alfani Mwinyi were arrested on 27 December last year in possession of one rhino horn weighing 1.406 kg worth three million shillings without a permit.
Prosecution opposed the release of the two men on bond and linked them to using proceeds from the trophies to finance terrorism and dealing in narcotics.
State prosecutor Jami Yamina told Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache that new information extracted from the suspects phones indicates that the two had been financing terrorism and dealing in narcotics.
“The phones of the suspects show information that links the two to terrorism and now narcotics to finance terrorism,” said Yamina.
He said it was premature to release the suspects on bond when the matters are under investigation and the suspects are at flight risk and cause danger to the public.
Yamina said that it was in the public interest and administration of justice to have the suspects remain in custody pending police investigations.
Yamina sought the court to give prosecution until Friday to allow the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit ATPU and Anti-Narcotics Unit time to analyze the information in the phone before they can submit an alternative affidavit.
However, lawyers for the two, Pascal Nabwana and John Magiya said that prosecution were only putting forward allegations full of malice and lacking evidence.
Nabwana said the accused were poor men who could not finance anything and let alone a terrorist group.
“If you look at the accused they cannot finance anything, if anything they are the ones who need to be financed,” said Nabwana.
He said the court ought to and should be guided by the bail and bond policy which requires that suspects be granted bail despite of what the Director of Public Prosecution is alleging.
Magiya insisted that the two were residents of Mombasa with families that depended on them and would show up in court for trial provided that court gives directions.
He said that prosecution had not demonstrated any evidence linking the two to the accused to any terror group or any narcotic deals.
“If at all the accused were charged with being in possession of wildlife trophies, prosecution cannot put out wild allegations that the two are financing terrorism and dealing in narcotics,” said Magiya.
He said there were no ammunitions or narcotics that were recovered from the suspects when they were arrested.
The prosecution will on Friday give supplementary affidavit to allow the two to be given a bond.