A shareholder and co-director of Bluebird Aviation Yussuf Adan has petitioned the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti to institute criminal investigations against three suspects implicated in what is believed to be a multibillion money laundering scam.
In a petition forwarded to the DCI, Adan through lawyer Paul Muite, three directors of Bluebird Aviation Ltd, Hussein Farah (chairman and CEO), Hussein Mohamed (general manager, finance and administration director) and Mohamed Adan (technical director) are accused of orchestrating criminal offences that necessitate urgent investigations.
The petitioner accuses his fellow directors of engaging in massive fraud, theft, tax evasion, embezzlement of company assets and money laundering. The directors are accused of using offshore companies including Amazon International FZE/C – registered in Ajman in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) – to launder money belonging to Bluebird Aviation.
He also states that the co-directors have irregularly converted company assets into shares in other companies including Safari Link Aviation Ltd, 748 Air Services Kenya, 748 Air Services Barbados and 748 Air Service Dubai Multi-Commodity Centre, Mount Hood Investments and Blue Eagle Developers, among others.
The complaint to the DCI states that the three directors have been engaging in high level fraud, theft, embezzlement of company assets and money laundering.
The complaint has also alerted Kenya Airports Authority managing director Jonny Andersen to commence an internal probe into the Bluebird Aviation directors’ alleged abuse of designated All Access Areas passes issued to them.
Using the Airport All Access passes, laments Adan, the co-directors have been bypassing airport security checks at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to smuggle liquid cash stolen from the company to unspecified offshore destinations.
“I’m aware that these directors have been misusing these airport passes by bypassing respective authorities and security personnel by physically transporting stolen liquid cash rightfully belonging to Bluebird Aviation Limited to the United Arab Emirates via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and depositing the same in offshore accounts,” reads Adan’s petition to KAA managing director, also copied to the DCI.
“The monies in question amount to huge sums of money. This is also against the orders issued by the High Court vide a ruling by Honourable Justice Ogola on May 18 2016,” adds the petitioner.
Adan also reveals the involvement of National Bank of Kenya chairman Mohamed Hassan in the fraudulent activities at Bluebird Aviation.
Hassan is implicated in the saga for his role in providing financial consultancy services for the three directors, knowing too well that the money entrusted to him had been misappropriated from Bluebird Aviation.
Already, Adan, a co-director at Bluebird Aviation, has filed a civil case at the Milimani Commercial Court seeking to recover more than US$1 billion, the equivalent of Sh100 billion allegedly embezzled from Bluebird Aviation in the last 26 years.
Interestingly, three years down the line, the case has never been heard as it has been dogged with delaying tactics arising from multiple similar applications filed by the accused directors.
“I verily believe that my life and that of my family is at great risk and may be subject to harm with the sole intention of putting pressure on me and my family to withdraw the ongoing dispute in court,” says Adan in a sworn statement to the DCI.
The directors, states Adan, continue to enjoy state security with more than 50 administration police officers irregularly assigned to them.
At the heart of the civil dispute is a multibillion civil suit lodged by Adan in 2016 against his fellow directors vide court papers accusing them of having defrauded the company of more than Sh100 billion over the last 26 years.
In the court papers, Adan states that the three, Farah, Mohamed and Abdikadir, each holding a 25pc stake in the firm, have conspired to exclude him from the aviation organisation’s operations including financial dealings.
With a fleet of more than 20 aircrafts, Bluebird Aviation is licensed to operate scheduled, non-scheduled and ad-hoc air charter services, medical evacuation and relief services within the East and Central African region with special emphasis on Eastern Africa.
Over the last two decades, the aviation firm has grown into one of the most reliable air passenger and cargo charter companies in the region, catering for not only the humanitarian sector but also private and government institutions and miraa cargo freighting to Somalia.