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Investigations

US Intelligence Warns Americans Against Using Huawei Phones Over China Spying And Kenya Should Catch A Cold

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A user hoing through his Huawei phone.

Huawei might be the most popular smartphones beside iPhone but unpopular and not impressing the US Intelligence agencies. The heads of six major US intelligence agencies have warned that American citizens shouldn’t use products and services made by Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE. The intelligence chiefs made the recommendation during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday. The group included the heads of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the director of national intelligence.

During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said the government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.” He added that this would provide “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

These warnings are nothing new. The US intelligence community has long been wary of Huawei, which was founded by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army and has been described by US politicians as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government.” This caution led to a ban on Huawei bidding for US government contracts in 2014, and it’s now causing problems for the company’s push into consumer electronics.

Although Huawei started life as a telecoms firm, creating hardware for communications infrastructure, the company’s smartphones have proved incredibly successful in recent years. Last September, it even surpassed Apple as the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker, behind Samsung.

Huawei has unsuccessfully tried to make inroads into the prestigious American market that is dominated by Apple and Samsung but attempts have been blocked on several occasions.

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US lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would ban government employees from using Huawei and ZTE phones altogether. During Tuesday’s hearing, Republican Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “The focus of my concern today is China, and specifically Chinese telecoms like Huawei and ZTE, that are widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government.”

New developments from the US Intelligence community is a real worry to Kenyans as well, see, Kenya’s biggest telecommunication company who also happens to have won the national security CCTV tender, runs their facility on Huawei. Simply put, Kenya’s security system runs on Huawei and now with spying accusations, China is probably spying on Kenya which ideally doesn’t come as a surprise.

Word on the ground is the Kenyan government was warned against contracting Huawei who have links with the Chinese government but went ahead. The awarding of the tender was as shrewd as many, Safaricom bloated the tender value in a case that has even ended up in the courts. Conspiring with powerful individuals in government, Safaricom was allegedly single-sourced the tender for Sh45B which they then subcontracted Huawei to supply, install and maintain the security facility at Sh15B with the rest Sh30B moving to unknown accounts.

Kenyans have little success stories to tell since much of the CCTV have failed to unravel for example assassinations. Apart from security forces running on Huawei, the phone brand remains Safaricom’s best-selling smartphone posing the real levels of threats should spying be confirmed in Kenya.

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Recently, China was found to be spying on the African Union Headquarters where they had installed the sound equipment and security facility. Kenya is a key business hub for the Chinese and the region and given the close ties the country enjoys with the East, it really wouldn’t come as a surprise.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram

Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [[email protected]]

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Investigations

CCTV: American Intelligence Groups Currently Looking Into Kidnapping Of Tanzanian Billionaire Mohammed Dewji As Kenyan Lady Muthoni Gathithu Questioned

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Mohammed Dewji

The puzzle over the kidnapping of Africa’s youngest billionaire, Mohammed Dewji, 43, in Dar es Salaam can only be unravelled by establishing why and who tampered with security cameras at Colosseum Hotel where the tycoon was abducted last Thursday.

Failure by the CCTV cameras installed at the hotel to capture helpful images of the abduction has raised questions as to who might have tampered with the devices, for what motive.

Mo, was kidnapped on Thursday around 5am at the hotel in Oyster Bay, an affluent neighbourhood in northwest Dar es Salaam, where he had gone for a regular morning workout.

Hotel where Mo was kidnapped.

Police say two white men, probably foreigners, arrived at the hotel in a Toyota Surf, abducted the businessman, fired in the air before they disappeared.

To date, there has been no clue from either investigators or relatives on the whereabouts of Mo; who might have carried out the kidnapping and why.

Meanwhile, the unresolved abduction has led to a tussle between the government and the opposition over calls to allow external investigators to join the hunt for the missing businessman.

The opposition spokesperson for home affairs Godbless Lema Tuesday asked the government to invite foreign experts to resolve the abduction, accusing the police of not showing any serious resolve to find the businessman and arrest his abductors.

But in a quick response, Home Affairs deputy minister Hamad Masauni declared there was no intention within government to allow foreign investigators as the local police were capable of doing the work.

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Meanwhile, we have reports that American Intelligence Groups (AGI) have taken over the kidnapping case of Mohammed Dewji, 43, who was taken by gunmen from hotel gym. AGI have seen one of the gunmen enter the front the others were already inside, this was planned out AGI say it was an inside job and was planned in advance.

Crucial photos in the investigations released by the AGI.

 

Dewji, was taken by gun men from gym according to the AGI reports. News has also Surfaced of Dewji, was being photographed by Muthoni Gathitu AGI discovered images of Mohammed Dewji on her webpage also centered in several pictures and several boats in Mombasa, Nairobi, South Africa  AGI is investigating this lady in question.

Photo shows the cctv was unguarded that day.

AGI say Dewji, was taken by a man wearing a blue T-shirt, carrying a rifle wrapped in a towel. Tourists reportedly took several images and American intelligence groups.

The CCTV setup inside hotel wasn’t turned on inside the gym which could have been inside job. AGI checked video and no workers were even monitoring security cameras but two men were on the look out side holding something in hand.

Photos of the two men on standby.

As pursuit continues to unravel the puzzles, family of Dewji are offering a reward of Tsh1B to anyone with information that would lead to finding him.


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Investigations

Britam’s Plan To Use The Courts To Stifle Competition From Cytonn Has Fallen Apart

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Britam Group managing director Benson Wairegi

In a new twist of events, the Court of Appeal yesterday issued orders stopping Britam’s attempt to use the courts to distract its competitor, Cytonn.

It has emerged that Britam might not have lost Ksh1.2 billion under the watch of its former employees, as they claim. Instead, records show that the money was spent on various Britam projects in the country.

Bank records in possession of our investigative desk show that the money that Britam accuses four of its former employees stealing was wired by Britam’s own Fund Administrators from Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius to Chase Bank in Kenya to different accounts held by Britam and its then Subsidiary, Acorn.

The money was meant for different projects which were initiated by Britam in conjunction with Acorn Group Limited. Acorn was Britam’s partner in real estate development, and even they (Britam) had shares in Acorn.

The money wired from Mauritius was acquired from investors. Mauritius was the preferred destination because of its tax treaty with Kenya hence avoiding double taxation. However, Britam group did not want the projects done for BAAM investors, they wanted the projects done for Britam directors, a move that former employees firmly resisted, hence the attempt by Britam to punish the four, a move that the court of appeal stopped yesterday.

The disbursements were signed by Shiv Arora who was the Investment analyst for Britam, Elizabeth Nkuuku who held the position of a senior portfolio manager and Edwin Dande, the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Investment Committee had already approved the five projects, in which the Ksh1.2 billion was to be used on.

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As stated, only three executives authorised the transactions, putting in question why Britam decided to include Patricia Wanjama in the suit. Sources within Britam intimated to us that the owners of Britam, working through the previous DPP, Keriako Toniko, decided to manipulate the justice system to punish the Cytonn four, who exited Britam to form their own company.

We are in possession of bank statements showing how Britam used the money:

The first Ksh9.9 million was disbursed to Edenvale Developments LLP, a student housing project sitting on a 0.4 acre piece on Jogoo Road, Nairobi.

Another Ksh42.2 million was disbursed to Starling Park Properties LLP, a real estate project on a 0.7 acre piece of land on Gitanga Road, Nairobi, now called 67 Gitanga on Agwings Kodhek.

The third Ksh43.3 million disbursement was made to Crimson Court Developments LLP a real estate project on Riara Road, Nairobi.

Sinopia Properties LLP received Ksh150 .7 million, a project sitting on a 202.9 acre piece of land located in Ollolooitikosh Town.

The final Ksh915.4 million disbursement was made to Mikado Properties LLP a a real estate development sitting on a 28.4 acre piece of land in Mavoko on Mombasa Road.

This case is important to the market because it is about big corporates trying to keep their position by manipulating the Justice system. For a company that is also owned by IFC, Swiss RE and Africinvest, it’s surprising that international investors would be part of bribing the system to so that they dominate the market.

Next we shall explain to you how Britam issued fake statements to investors in their unit linked education policies. Our mole at Britam informed us that the DCI has been investigating Britam about their Mauritius Ponzi Scheme run by previous shareholder, David Rawat.

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While at it, we would like the Director of Criminal Investigations to also investigate these fake unit linked education insurance policies Britam has been peddling to Kenyans using teachers as their agents.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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Investigations

How Monica Kimani Passed Through JKIA With A Bag Full Of Cash In US Dollars Without A Trace

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The late Monica Kimani.

Detectives are trying to piece up how the slain businesswoman had managed to beat the airport’s protocol to pass with a lot of cash undeclared through the heavy security without a trace.

Monica is said to have flown in with huge amount of money in USD currency which is when she called Jowie to escort her from the airport. It’s clear the money was packed in a bag and passed, what’s not clear is how this could’ve possibly happened and no trace left.

According to reports, the late Monica Kimani was briefly detained at the airport upon arrival from Juba because she was in possession of undeclared cash.

She was, however, let go after a high flying individual called senior KAA officials to secure her release.

The incident has been handled with the strictest confidentiality, with no official records showing Monica was at the airport on the material day.

According to other reports, Monica’s flight details for 19th September when she traveled from South Sudan are heavily guarded by KAA going to show the trail captures the mightiest in the land.

The KAA officers are the ones mandated to screen baggage. In case of somebody carrying large amounts of cash, he or she is supposed to declare it with the customs department which issues a receipt. Immigration simply checks on the passports and visa.

When screening baggage and they notice banned substances or illegal goods, KAA officers re supposed to alert airport police.

The officer said that in the case of Monica, JKIA security has discovered that she had cash but the KAA officer who screened her did not inform the police.

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Monica is said to have placed a call to a high office and was set free with the money undeclared. It’s alsi speculated that a contact on South Sudan who’s the source of the money coordinated her pass with his networks.

It is in the backdrop of the missing cash that detectives have pitched campbin South Sudan to piece up evidences and determine if their could be a link with her death.

In what is a suspected money laundering syndicate, the slain who lived a lavish lifestyle and accumulated wealth in a short span, the case could be much more complicated than thought as those in the trail of the cash and possibly the high gods, will fight blood and sweat not to appear on the picture.

Whats more puzzling is where the cash in the suitcase disappeared. It has been speculated that it was about USD400,000 cash. At one point, it was reported that Monica’s purse with cash was recovered at Maribe’s House butbthis story disappeared into the thin air.

Investigators have told the court, where they have arraigned two suspects, that they are still investigating the possibility of money having been stolen from Monica in her killing.

“The investigations are ongoing to establish any money that could have been taken from the deceased’s house. The deceased was to travel out of the country,” an affidavit by investigating officer Maxwell Otieno reads.

He said they are tracing the money movement, persons involved, and how and who is currently in possession of the money.

If the police can break the money puzzle then it will definitely open a box of pandora exposing those involved and might just give this case a whole new angle. This money is somewhere andnjust maybe if the police can get to those in possession then we’d have a new crime motive and even the actual killer if it wasn’t Jowie.

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