Center of embezzlement scandal sold to Somali-owned Hormuud TeLecom Featured

Telecom phone provider Hormuud Telecom has acquired the iconic Hotel, the Laico Regency in Nairobi, Kenya.
 The hotel, which was previously owned by the Libyan government, has been at the center of a heated debate for nearly 20 years.

The ownership of the hotel has been marred by allegations of embezzlement and the infamous “Goldenberg Scandal,” in which several Kenyan ministers and businessmen were accused of adding extra money to the purchase price of the hotel while it was being sold.

The hotel’s sale, which took place in secret and without a public bid, has been controversial due to the price at which it was sold.

The luxury hotel was initially sold to Libyans at 2.9 billion Kenyan Shillings (approximately $44 million), a significant discount from previous appraisals that valued the property at around 7 billion Kenyan Shillings (approximately $114 million).

Former Cabinet minister, Kimunya, and Somali-Kenyan lawyer Ahmed Dhere, who facilitated the illegal acquisition of the hotel was implicated in the scandal.

The official selling price of the hotel has not been made public. Ahmed Yusuf, the CEO of Hormuud telecom, and lawyer Ahmed Dhere, who represents the former president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, now jointly own the hotel.

According to sources with direct knowledge of the hotel’s acquisition, a $12 million substantial makeover is currently taking place at the property.

Hormuud Telecom has recently started to purchase a large amount of real estate, bank and other properties in Kenya.

It seems the company has fully immersed itself into Kenyan politics and business in quest of financial rewards, which they had previously shied away from.

The acquisition of the Laico Regency by Hormuud Telecom raises many questions about the company’s role in Kenyan politics and business, and it remains to be seen how the public and the Kenyan government will view this hostile acquisition.


After five years of despotic rule, the former Prez of Somalia, Mohamed Farmajo, left the office with a net worth of more than $200M.

He generated most of this money while using gov resources and his executive power, establishing a well-sophisticated money-making machine.

From corrupting International funded projects, and national asset embezzlement, to manipulating a Khat/Miraa business, a lucrative stimulant drug business in Somalia, Farmajo currently has more than $100M in cash sitting in Hormuud-run banks and its remittance companies.

To convert this money into a legitimate asset, Farmajo signs a deal with Hormuud Telecom that will earn the giant telecom company a piece of the pie.

Source: hornsentinel