Is KAA Helping Cover Up Money Laundering Rot At Bluebird Aviation?

bluebird aviation
Bluebird Aviation. [Courtesy]

A Bluebird Aviation co-owner Adan Yussuf has accused other firm directors of embezzling funds from the company that is more than two decades old.

According to Yussuf who has been involved in a vicious court battle for the past three years with; Hussein Farah (chairman and CEO), Hussein Mohamed (general manager, finance and administration director) and Mohamed Adan (technical director), says the trio has also been laundering money via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

In a letter to Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managing director Jonny Andersen, Yussuf asks that the three are investigated for abusing designated All Access Areas passes issued to them.

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Using the Airport All Access passes, the co-directors, he complained, have been bypassing airport security checks at JKIA 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 Yussuf’s petition to KAA, also copied to the DCI.

Responding to the tycoon who first ventured into the miraa business before turning his focus on aviation, KAA dispelled the money laundering claims.

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According to the authority, a multi-agency team made up of detectives and National Intelligence Service (NIS) officers could not find any evidence linking the directors to the illegalities.

“The multi-agency team has made every effort to gather any evidence on the allegations, but found none,” the KAA said in a letter to Yussuf.

“We find no basis to either confiscate, withdraw, cancel or blacklist the said passes or permits.”

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Yussuf who apparently controls a 25 percent stake of the charter airline has filed a civil case at the Milimani Commercial Court seeking to recover more than Sh100 billion allegedly embezzled from Bluebird Aviation in the last 26 years.

In responding court documents, the co-directors have dismissed his claims as speculative and malicious.

The trio that controls the firm with a fleet of more than 21 planes has also termed Yussuf as a reckless director seeking to damage the firm and set terms of his buy out.

On the money laundering claims, the three maintained that it is impossible to move over Sh1 billion to western bank capitals undetected.

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Their books, audited by Deloitte, they said have always been made available to the complainant.

While the case lingers in court, Yussuf in a letter to the DCI notes that his life and those of his family members are in danger.

“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.

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He has also linked the National Bank of Kenya chairman Mohamed Hassan to the illegal activities.

According to a local weekly publication, Hassan has providing financial consultancy services to the Bluebird directors.

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Written by Kahawa Tungu


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