Mombasa-based businessman Ali Punjani on Monday escaped police arrest after his Nyali home was raided over his purported involvement in narcotics.

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Police have since asked him to present himself before any police station in Mombasa County and record statements over drug trafficking allegations.

Plain cloth officers, GSU officers and K-9 Unit officers with sniffer dogs raided his home on Monday but he was away.

This comes a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i launched an intensive war on narcotics in the region which is said to be one of the reasons why criminal gangs have increased in Mombasa.

Mombasa Police Commander Johnstone Ipara said that police will have no otherwise but break into the house and search for drugs in case the businessman fails to present himself to the nearest police station.

“We will not leave until we search this house top to bottom and establish that there are no drug substances inside,” said Ipara.

So far, at least 18 people have been arrested in the ongoing crackdown since it was launched on Sunday. 

Key names that have been arrested so far include a police officer commanding station (OCS) in Lamu who was on Monday arrested after a drug trafficking suspect was released in unclear circumstances and Bofu Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Ahmed Salama.