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Monday, November 17, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Former Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala and his married lover/businesswoman Joyce Akinyi’s tribulations in India appear to be far from over.

It emerged on Sunday that the star-crossed lovers are back in jail after a court in New Delhi cancelled bail granted to them last week. Indian authorities reportedly cancelled bail after discovering some anomalies on Akinyi’s Kenyan passport and the two were on Wednesday evening taken back to Tihar Prison, India’s second largest. A prison spokesman, Sunil Gupta confirmed that the two were back in custody. “The ex-MP and the lady were in custody on Friday and I think they are still there. I will check and confirm to you tomorrow (Monday),” Gupta said.

Immigration sources in Nairobi said Indian authorities had raised questions over the authenticity of Akinyi’s passport. “While the picture on the passport is hers, other details including the name raised doubts over its authenticity,” said an official who could not be named. Wanjala’s passport was said to be in order. The two, however, face joint earlier charges, which probably explains why Wanjala is also back in Tihar. Siasa Duni had earlier reported that Akinyi travelled to India (via Uganda) on a fake passport bearing the name Ochieng’ Teressa. Wanjala and Akinyi, who is at the centre of a messy divorce case and a multi-million property wrangle with her Nigerian husband Antony Chinedu, had been released on bail on November 7 after a month in custody.

The high-flying couple was arrested at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport on October 8 for not declaring the equivalent of KSh7.50 million in US dollars. The laws of that country require one to declare amounts of money above KSh. 375,000. Sources in New Delhi say the two had been betrayed to the police by partners they had been doing undisclosed business with.

A warrant of arrest has been since issued for Wanjala in Kenya after he failed to appear in court to answer charges of assaulting NTV cameraman Mustafa Mwalimu in June. The former assistant minister denied the charge and is on KSh. 20,000 bail.

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