Somali National, Omar Faruk, Arrested After Dodging Sh3.6 Million Nairobi Hotel Bill

The Kenyan immigration authorities arrested last week a Somali National,  upon arrival at JKIA International airport, while traveling to Morocco, after a court in Nairobi issued his warrant of arrest,  Somali and Kenya Media reports.

Omar Faruk Osman, a Somali national, who also holds British and African Union diplomatic passport, was arrested, following complaints by local tours and travel firm Pinnacle – which organised a conference on his behalf at the Laico Regency Hotel as an official of the East Africa Journalists Association (EAJA),  adding that Mr Osman has previously lied about depositing the owed sums in the tours and travel firm’s bank account, and now wants the debt settled, according to Kenyan Media


Justice Charles Kariuki issued a warrant for his arrest after Pinnacle went to court claiming that Mr Osman, who has been on the run since 2012, has occasionally sneaked in and out of Kenya without settling the debt.

Mr Osman, who was arraigned in court on Monday, was released after depositing Sh1.8 million as security and surrendering his three passports, pending the hearing and determination of a case Pinnacle has filed at the Milimani Court.

Mr Osman says in his application that the court should return his passports and allow him to travel in and out of the country. He wants to be allowed to attend court only when he is needed to appear in person.

The firm also claims that Mr Osman was in November 2013 arrested and jailed in Ethiopia for failing to pay hotel and taxi bills before he was deported to his home country-Somalia.

“Mr Osman has a reputation of obtaining goods and services in foreign countries and leaving without paying for them. I am aware that Mr Osman was arrested and jailed in Ethiopia over the same claims that Pinnacle is making,” says Elizabeth Mbugua, a director at Pinnacle as cited by Business Daily Africa.

Justice Olga Sewe will hear the parties on May 17 and give further directions on the case afterwards.

Somali authorities had previously arrested Omar Faruk over possible to the terrorist organizations like Al-Shabab, according to the Somali media.

Mr. Osman left Mogadishu after escaping a court order which set dates for the election of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), after the court stripped the leadership position he claimed.

The General Assembly of the NUSOJ kicked off in Mogadishu on May 3, 2016 as instructed and observed by the Benadir Appeals Court, whose chief attended the opening.  Its expected that the union assembly to be concluded in two days.

This is the second time, Omar  Faruk gets arrested over unpaid debts. On November 2013, Ethiopian authorities arrested him over unpaid hotel and taxi bills and later deported to Somalia, after Ethiopian court in Addis Ababa ordered his deportation.

Kenya Business Daily and Horn Observer contributed to this report.

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