Nairobi tycoon among 4 to face charges for ‘threatening’ state witness in Sh10m extortion case

By Nancy Gitonga On Mon, 8 Mar, 2021 17:56 | 2 mins read
Milimani Law Courts
Milimani Law Courts. PHOTO | FILE

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) Noordin Haji has revealed that it intends to charge four businessmen accused of threatening a state witness in a Sh10 million extortion case.

This was revealed on Monday, March 8, in a case where Hirji Ramji Patel, who is a senior operations manager of Astrol Aviation at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), is facing charges of attempting to extort Sh10 million from businessman Pareshkumar Keshhavji Dodhia as a pre-condition for helping him to settle an alleged assault case.

The ODPP, through state counsel Kennedy Panyako, informed trial magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot that they intend to charge four other suspects in the case, namely, city tycoon Ashok Rupshi Shah, Shree Cutchi Gujarati Hindu Union (SCGHU) Meghji Patel, Nilesh Bhavsharu, Mukesh Salva.

“We will charge them and then we will consolidate the matter with that of Patel. The file has been taken to DPP Haji for perusal and further recommendation,” said Panyako.

The four, who are out on police cash bail, are expected to be charged after they recorded statements with the DCI over allegations of issuing threats to Pareshkumar Keshhavji Dodhia, who is a prosecution witnesses in Patel’s case.

The four suspects are also said to be intimidating and threatening the complainant to withdraw his case.

Shah, Meghji, Bhavsharu and Mukesh recorded statements with the police after the court compelled them following an application by the complainant Dodhia that the police had failed to take any action against the four businessmen.

Dodhia through his lawyer, Wanyanga and Company Advocates, further claimed that despite raising complains against them, no arrest has been made despite their homes and business premises being known to the investigating officer.

On February 22, Magistrate Cheruiyot issued warrants of arrest against the four suspects after failing to appear in court to face criminal charges leveled against them by the state.

The magistrate adjourned the hearing of Patel’s case to March 25 to allow the prosecution to file a response in a fresh application by four suspects seeking to set aside warrants of arrest issued against them by the court.

But the four suspects, through lawyer Elijah Mwangi, said that the warrants of arrest against them were meant to injure their good character and reputation.

Among the charges the four are expected to face include threating to injure Dohia, conspiracy to defeat justice, possession of an illegal firearm and attempting to extort Sh10 million from the said complainant.

In his court papers, Dodha claimed the extortion and the attempted extortion was occasioned by Patel together Ashok Shah, Meghji, Bhaavsharu and Rawall

In the case against Patel, he has since denied charges of being in possession of narcotic drugs (cannabis sativa) and being in possession of public stores.

He was accused of being in possession of government stores, namely one smoke military jacket, one pair of handcuffs and one bullet proof vest suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

The prosecution alleged that Patel was found with 27 rolls of bhang valued at Sh2,160 on July 17,2020 at Parklands Road, Westlands Sub-County in Nairobi.

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