Is somebody holding Somali-American businessman Mohamud Bashir Mohammed, alias Bashir, and if so, for what reasons?
This is the question his family has been struggling to get answers to a week after he mysteriously disappeared from Miale Lounge in Lavington, Nairobi, where he was last seen last Thursday.
The 35-year-old structural engineer and proprietor of Infinity Developers, headquartered in Nairobi, is reported to have gone to the lounge for a meeting and Idd celebrations. He was in the company of some yet-to-be-disclosed persons at 5pm before his car, a Range Rover with registration number KCQ 007P, was captured by CCTV cameras leaving the premises an hour later.
In the footage, Mr Bashir is seen tipping some guards. That was the last time he was seen.
During that hour, Mr Bashir is said to have contacted his wife, but the call was interrupted and his phone taken from him in what is presumed to have been a scuffle. The family believes it was then switched off immediately as they’ve since not been able to reach him.
However, data from a leading telco shows his [phone] was last [traced] on Ngong Road, which is also where the police last traced his car, according to Nairobi Regional Commander Augustine Thumbi.
Badly burnt car
The family reported the matter at Muthangari Police Station. However, they were only allowed to file a missing person report on Sunday under OB/25/16/05/2021.
Worried about his whereabouts and accusing police of doing little to find him, the family requested Mr Bashir’s lawyers at HMS Advocates LLP to help trace him.
On the same day, Mr Bashir’s car was traced to Ngong Road then Kibiku by a Range Rover dealer.
The dealer reported that the car was burning and contacted officers from Kibiku Police Post and Ngong Police Station.
By the time the officers got to the scene, the car had been badly burnt, leaving a shell. However, before his relatives could get to the scene, the shell disappeared.
On Tuesday, the law firm wrote to the US Embassy in Nairobi seeking assistance in establishing Mr Bashir’s whereabouts since he is a US citizen.
“The mysterious circumstances of the disappearance and the intransigence of the local authorities have led to our clients believing that perhaps there could be foul play regarding Bashir’s disappearance,” read the letter.
The letter also wants the embassy to help the family establish the date, location and reason for his arrest if he is in State custody.
The family also wants to know where he is being held.
“Today, I shall be writing to the Inspector-General of Police and Cabinet Secretary for Interior seeking to know his whereabouts,” Mr Charles Madowo, the lead advocate in the matter, told Nation yesterday.
“If a response doesn’t come through, then I shall file an application seeking to have them reveal if he is being held by the State.”
Contacted, the US Embassy in Nairobi through its spokesperson said it’s aware of reports of an American citizen missing in Nairobi.
“The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to US citizens in need, and to their families. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment,” it said in a statement.
Mr Bashir has been living with his wife in Nairobi’s Lavington area. He has been executing contracts for state and private projects in Nairobi, Nyeri and Kisumu counties.