Jaswant Singh Rai, a billionaire businessman, was reportedly released on Sunday after being abducted 24 hours earlier. A circulating video showed Rai being abducted by unknown men in broad daylight.
Rai is a businessman with investments in sugar, timber, and real estate. His family later shared a video of the abduction with law enforcement officers while they filed a missing persons report. They, however, gave no details of the incident that occurred.
Kioko Kilukumi, Rai’s lawyer, confirmed the release of the billionaire on Sunday evening. He did not, however, give any details on who detained him and why he was released.
Before his release, President Ruto warned the billionaire during his Western tour. He accused him of exploiting sugar farmers in western Kenya without providing any evidence for the accusation.
Some CCTV cameras captured Rai being abducted in Killimani. He was in traffic when unknown individuals suddenly parked a white pickup truck in front of his vehicle. The individuals invaded Rai’s vehicle and whisked him away in their pickup.
The family filed a missing persons report at the police station to help locate his whereabouts. According to the police station, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) was leading the missing persons investigation.
Subscribe to Switch TV
Rai’s Involvement in the Sugar Industry
According to the Sugar Directorate, Rai produces at least half the sugar consumed in the country. He owns West Kenya Sugar, Kabras Sugar situated in Malava, Kakamega. Furthermore, he owns Sukari Industries of Ndiwa in Homabay, Olepito Sugar at Tangakona in Busia and Naitiri Sugar in Bungoma County.
“Msikuwe na wasiwasi niko hapo chonjo kabisa. Nitahakikisha hii kitu inakaa chonjo. Na wakora wote wako katikati. Msikuwe an wasiwasi ati kuna mtu atakuja kutuongelesha kingereza. Sijui mhindi fulani. Sijui nani ni nani. Sijui mwingine naniambia Rai. Rai nani? Hapana hiyo haiwezekani,” Ruto said.
The President’s remarks translate to;
” Do not be worried I am alert to make sure everything will be okay. No one will meddle. Do not be worried about someone coming to talk to us. Some Indian. Someone was telling me Rai. Who is Rai? No, that is not possible.”
This was after the people of the Western region raised concerns regarding the sugar industry. Over the past few years, sugar factories have been collapsing in the western region, with a majority of them involved in scandals. It is also inclusive of the Mumias Sugar whole closure led to the loss of multiple jobs and an increase in the cost of sugar.
In addition to that, the recent prices of sugar raised the alarm among the residents. Sugar now retails at a very high price and citizens are scaling down the commodity.