Turk in DP Ruto’s aborted trip to Uganda deported

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 00:00 | By
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (right) with Deputy President William Ruto (second left) and Turkish businessman Harun Aydin (second right) when the DP visited Uganda, recently. Photo/PD/FILE

Turkish national Harun Aydin was deported yesterday morning after consultations between the Kenyan and Turkish authorities.

His lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, however, maintained that Aydin had been asked to leave at his own expense.

Aydin, the man in the drama surrounding the Deputy President William Ruto’s aborted trip to Uganda, was taken to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) airside where he boarded a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. On arrival, he was picked up by security officials for questioning, according to reports.

A senior government official confirmed the deportation saying his country was fully aware. 

“He was deported after consultations with the local officials who asked we send him there for further processing,” he said.

But last evening, Deputy President William Ruto in a tweet said he had talked and apologised to Aydin, who is now in Turkey. 

“Just talked & apologised on behalf of GoK to Aydin Harun, now in Turkey, who was politically arrested, tortured & falsely profiled as a ‘terrorist’ but later asked to fly out not to shame those involved. Political pettiness is expensive/dangerous & will destroy our economy. SHAME.”

Aydin was arrested on Saturday immediately after landing at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi from Uganda and spent two days in custody.

It was, however, not immediately established whether he would be allowed in the country again, following the deportation.

The departure, however, left more questions than answers, especially on the real identity of Aydin and the businesses he was involved in the country. 

Authorities have not said whether other Turkish nationals who met DP Ruto in Uganda are still in the country. 

During Ruto’s July 6 private visit to Uganda, he met two men and another female, all Turkish nationals. According to sources, the four held a day-long meeting which was not attended by Aydin.

 Records obtained by detectives indicate that two of the people believed to have met DP Ruto in Uganda were Hamit Demir holder of passport number U23165848 and Mehmet Akif Bagle holder of passport number U11979628.

The two, among other passengers left Nairobi aboard Kenya Airways flight number KQ420 that arrived at Entebbe Airport at 9.50am.

They both travelled business class, one of the passengers had two bags, each weighing 18kg.

Terror links 

The other question has been what the man was doing in the country.   Ruto and his allies have castigated the government for frustrating investors but records indicate that Aydin had not invested in the country.

“Turkish investor, Aydin Harun, is a victim of top-down arrogance bred by patronage and cartels that criminalise enterprise.

Importers’ goods declared contraband, Africa spirits closed, Keroche harassed, now investor with valid papers labelled terrorist pettiness,” Ruto tweeted.

  Aydin was being investigated over his alleged links to terror and money laundering, immigration status and his suspicious trips in the country.

Police had initially said he was being investigated for financing terrorism. The other issue was his activities with officials saying his passport shows he exited twice from Kenya but there is no entry stamp.

Aydin runs a company known as Unit 2HA Investment Energy Africa Ltd and was issued with a work permit by the Kenya’s Immigration department on June 30, 2021. It is expected to expire on June 29, 2023.

The Immigration department in May this year launched a Rapid Response Initiative (RRI), that started on June 2 and ended on July 31, to expedite processing of all applications for regaining Kenya citizenship and issuance of permanent residence, among other documents.

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