NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 13 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi now says Turkish Businessman Harun Aydin was deported to Turkey on suspicion of involvement in criminal activities, including monet laundering.
Matiangi told the Nation Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security, that Harun, who is a close associate of Deputy President William Ruto, was detained on arrival from Uganda because he twice entered the country under unclear circumstances.
It is believed he was sneaked in by a VVIP on a private plane.
“His passport shows he has left the country twice without a stamp of arrival; it means you either used the porous borders or took advantage of VIP entry,” Matiangi said, adding that his travel history in the region was also suspect.
“The way he had been traveling to and from various countries in the region clearly match the characteristics of a money laundering suspect and you know money laundering and terrorism are joined at the hip,” he said.
Aydin was arrested on Saturday and sent back to his country two days later, days after drama ensued at the Wilson Airport where the Deputy President was blocked as he prepared to travel with him to Uganda. Ruto was told by immigration officials that he cannot travel because he did not have clearance from State House.
But Ruto protested the move which he inked to politics, saying government officials were pushing him to have a confrontation with the presdient.
And when Harun was arrested, Ruto and his allies protested, and he later announced that he had apologized on the government’s behalf, a claim Matiangi dismissed.
“We have not apoligized because what we did was procedural, we are not a ramshackled operation. Under the Geneva Convention, there is a way governments talk to each other, there isn’t a note verbale which is signed by our Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Kamau Macharia or our Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amb. Raychelle Omamo” he said.
Matiangi insists that the Turk was deported in line with a mutual agreement between Kenya and the Turkish government.
According to Matiangi, security agencies flagged Harun’s association with people involved in money laundering
“In Harun Aydin’s documents, he said he was working in the energy sector but his contract was a dummy. He got a work permit on 25th June, 2021. Security agencies flagged Aydin for his regional travels & was associated with people dealing in money laundering,” he said.
The Interior CS took the Parliamentary team through a statement in which he claimed that Aydin had been flagged by an intelligence organization in a neighboring country after one of the people he was dealing with was arrested in a different country for trying to bribe a minister.
According to Matiangi, Kenyan immigration officials were forced to revoke the Turkish businessman’s 2-year work permit after they discovered that he had provided misleading information.
“The phone numbers Harun Aydin filled on his work permit were ringing with other people. We were ready to charge him in a court of law, but we also have a mutual relationship with the Turkish Government so they requested to deal with him in their country,” said the Interior Cabinet Secretary.