Suspected Mombasa drug lord Ali Punjani, who was being sought by police officers over drug trafficking, is hospitalized at Asian Heart Institute in India.
According to his personal assistant Kakawat Pankaj, the drug baron underwent open-heart surgery last week.
Speaking to the media, his lawyers noted that they will be at his home in Nyali on Wednesday to allow police officers to search it.
It is further noted that Punjani was referred to India after a check-up at the Heart Lung Diagnostic Centre in Mombasa.
A letter from the diagnostic center reads: “The above patient (Mr Punjani) was admitted on July 29, 2019, following a heart attack/acute coronary syndrome. An angiogram done showed significant CAD with blocked coronary arteries.
“This is not amenable with angioplasty and he has been advised to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting urgently. This has been arranged at the Asian Heart Institute for next week,” the letter read in part.
This revelation comes barely hours after detectives from the multiagency on Monday raided his house in Mombasa County in connection to the drugs crackdown at the Coast.
Police in plains clothes, GSU officers and K-9 Unit police officers with sniffer dogs raided the home in Nyali trying to net Punjani, who is suspected to be a close ally of convicted drug lords, the Akasha brothers.
The raid happened a few hours after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced a renewed war on drug dealers.
Dr Matiang’i had said the operation would be a “painful one.”
On Monday, detectives inspected the backyard which is facing the Indian Ocean as the dogs went around three high-end vehicles which had been parked in front of the house is located in 1st Avenue.
“We received information that Mr Punjani is involved in drug trafficking. We will not move out of here until we get into the house. We ask him wherever he is to surrender himself to any nearby police station for interrogation,” Mombasa County commander Johnston Ipara mentioned at the time.
Mr Punjani was last month mentioned in a New York court by Indian national Vijaygiri Goswami, who has been charged in the foreign country alongside Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha over drugs trafficking.
In his allegations before the New York court, Mr Goswami described Mr Punjani as a rival drug lord of the Akasha in Mombasa.
Punjani’s name first came to the limelight when he was mentioned in Parliament as a drug suspect by the late Interior Minister George Saitoti in 2010 and was being probed over the same.
He was mentioned alongside four politicians in a dossier from the American Embassy to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.