Tuesday, 13 June 2017

KENYA: Police Arrest Crocodile Thieves, Adnan Khashoggi Dies In London

Police have arrested two people suspected to have stolen three-year-old crocodiles at a Malindi farm in Kilifi County amid rising theft on the reptiles farms.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said the suspects, aged about 32 years, were arrested while trying to sneak the beasts from Mark Stephen’s farm.

“The suspects had concealed three crocodiles in sacks but the third crocodile had died due to suffocation,” he added.

Mr Muchangi said the farmer alerted police when he heard movements in his backyard. This comes amid increased demand for crocodiles in China and rising sales locally to restaurants and tourist hotels.

A crocodile can fetch about Sh10,000 and hides go for Sh2,500 and they used for making shoes, handbags and belts.

In September, there were 21 crocodile farmers in Kenya, but a further 60 had applied for licencing, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Meanwhile, A tycoon who popularised Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club and Khashoggi House as ‘billionaires’ nests’ and once rated amongst the world’s richest has died.

Adnan Khashoggi, fondly referred to as AK by his family, died in London at 81 while undergoing treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

He shot to fame when he was linked to the Iran-Contra arms scandal in the 1980s where Tehran, still under UN embargo, was armed by US to fund Nicaraguan rebels.

A family statement described Mr Khashoggi as a pioneer who achieved global recognition through his extraordinary business achievements.

He combined commercial acumen with an overriding loyalty to his country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His work always furthered the interests of his country, the family said.

Mr Khashoggi acquired Mount Kenya Safari Club in 1967 and later bought another property, Ol Pejeta Ranch, where he spent $7.5 million on his four-bedroom private getaway, Khashoggi House.

Mr Khashoggi’s exploits elevated Laikipia’s stature as a pristine wildlife-rich hinterland where he hosted lavish parties for visiting heads of state, royal family members and billionaires.

This saw billionaires buy ranches in Laikipia and develop exclusive high-end resorts, making it the playground for the rich.

The Saudi Arabian national once estimated to be worth $4 billion was a close associate of former President Daniel arap Moi and would fly directly into Kenya in a private jet to his Laikipia Ranch forcing customs officials to drive from Nairobi to the ranch to clear his entourage.

Mr Khashoggi reportedly lost Ol Pejeta to Lonrho Hotels’ Tiny Rowland during a poker game but Lonrho Hotels would later dispose of the property to a UK Charity, Flora and Fauna International, who handed it over to a Kenyan trust for management as a conservancy for posterity.

He bequeathed Mount Kenya Safari Club to his son on his 18th birthday as a present. It is currently managed by Saudi Fairmont Hotels while Mr Khashoggi’s house is leased to TPS East Africa #ticker:TPSE by the trust.

Khashoggi House has four bedrooms, all en suite with walk-in dressing rooms, two lounges, dining room, living room, two private swimming pools one for the visitors and the other for the owners with large balconies that provide excellent game viewing.

The Stanford University educated arms dealer brokered deals with governments, weapon makers and private clients across the globe earning him hefty kickbacks that enabled him to lead a lavish globe-trotting life.