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Second Fugitive on US Most Wanted List Arrested in Meru

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives have Abdi Hussein Ahmed alias Abu Khadi, a suspect wanted in the United States, for wildlife and drug trafficking.

Abu was arrested on Tuesday, 2nd August by detectives drawn from the Serious Crimes unit during a raid in a rented room where he was staying in Maua, Meru County.

The detectives pounced on the suspect following a tip-off from area residents through the DCI’s anonymous hotline.

Ahmed is wanted in the US after he was charged in an indictment alongside Moazu Kromah, aka “Ayoub,” aka “Ayuba,” aka “Kampala Man;” Amara Cherif, aka “Bamba Issiaka;” and Mansur Mohamed Surur, aka “Mansour,” for participating in a conspiracy to traffic in Rhinoceros horns and Elephant ivory, both protected wildlife species, valued at more than $7 million.

This involved the illegal poaching of more than 35 rhinoceros and more than 100 elephants.

According to the DCI, their indictment, followed a joint investigation of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), where a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York, charged Ahmed and his other co-conspirators with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

“Ahmed’s arrest follows the arrest of his accomplice Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh, alias “Badro” on May 31, one week after a reward of $1 million was announced by the US Department of State, through the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Abdi Hussein Ahmed, for participating in transnational organized crime, i.e. narcotics trafficking,” the DCI said.

In a joint briefing by the US Embassy, Nairobi, Charge d’Affaires Eric Kneedler and the DCI Director General George Kinoti, on 26th May, 2022, the two had called upon anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Abdi Hussein Ahmed and his accomplice Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh who were on INTERPOL’s Red Notice, to volunteer it to authorities.

According to the indictment in a case currently being handled by U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods, Kromah, 49, Cherif, 54, Surur, 59, and Ahmed, 56, were members of a transnational criminal enterprise based in Uganda and surrounding countries that was engaged in the large-scale trafficking and smuggling of rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory, both protected wildlife species.

Authorities say from December 2012 through May 2019, Ahmed and his co-conspirators conspired to transport, distribute, sell and smuggle at least approximately 190 kilograms of rhinoceros horns and at least 10 tons of elephant ivory from various countries in East Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania, to buyers located in the United States and countries in Southeast Asia.

“The arrest of the two international fugitives Abdi Hussein Ahmed and his accomplice Badru Abdul Aziz Saleh, barely two months after the joint briefing by Mr Kneedler and the DCI Chief George Kinoti, points to the longstanding partnership that the Directorate has had with the United States, in combating trans-national organized crimes in the world. This can only get better,” the DCI said.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Sagar K Ravi and Jarrod L Schaeffer are in charge of the prosecution.

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