Kenya

Autopsy: Tanzanian drug baron Masou Tajiri was tortured, strangled to death

Autopsy: Tanzanian drug baron Masou Tajiri was tortured, strangled to death

A post-mortem on the body of Masuo Bakari Tajiri, a wanted Tanzanian drug trafficker whose mutilated body was found in a thicket in Thika, has revealed that he was tortured and strangled.

The body of Bakari, 52, who had been missing since December 3, and was found on Tuesday, was badly decomposed and had evidence of torture, including burn marks.

The post-mortem was conducted on Wednesday in the presence of his family, investigators from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa,) which is investigating the death, and rights group Haki Africa.

Haki Africa’s executive director, Mr Hussein Khalid, told journalists that Bakari’s family is seeking justice over his killing, and called on the government to reveal the whereabouts of his two associates, who were with him when they went missing, and are suspected to have been abducted.

Transport business

Bakari, together with Mr Mohammed Hussein and Mr Fahmi Bakari, had reportedly travelled to Thika to buy a new matatu for his transport business. The other two men are still missing.

On December 16, Fatuma Sicobo Mohammed was sentenced to life in prison for trafficking in heroin worth Sh7.3 million. Bakari, her co-accused, who was missing at the time, was acquitted.

The two had been accused of committing the crimes on April 16, 2019 at Bakarani, Mombasa County.

In 2017, Bakari was picked up by anti-narcotics detectives at his home in Mwembe Tayari, Mombasa, alongside his associate Fredrick Oriema Kumba on claims of transporting heroin from Tanzania through the porous Lunga Lunga border for distribution in Kisauni, Bamburi, Shanzu and Mtwapa.

Their arrest followed a major security swoop in different parts of Mombasa that led to the arrest of eight Kenyans, three Italians, and a Mauritian, and the seizure of two vehicles and Sh2.6 million in different currencies including the US dollar, Kenya shilling and euro.

In 2001, the Court of Appeal in Mombasa quashed a case by Bakari, who was then serving a death sentence for robbery with violence. He was, however, released after a presidential pardon in 2014, having served 20 years in jail.