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Trader: Yes, I trafficked narcotics

A city trader admitted that he had acquired his vast wealth through trafficking drugs and dealing in stolen vehicles.

Mr Stephen Joseph Vaz told a court that his uncle, Mr Salvacao Cipriano Fernades taught him everything he knew.

He spoke when he gave evidence against Mr Fernades in a case in which he has sued him and his wife Gladys Rose Fernades for an alleged Sh4.3 million theft.


Mr Vaz accused the two of stealing the money from their company, Advanced Catering Services where they were co-directors.

Responding to cross examination questions by Fernandes’ lawyer, Mr Vaz admitted that he was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail for drug trafficking by a Belgian court on March 14, 1984.

After his release, he said he was also convicted in Uganda for dealing in stolen vehicles where he was jailed for two years.

“When I was jailed in Belgium, my children and wife remained in Nairobi. My uncle did not support my family during my incarceration,” he said.

Mr Vaz added that after his release from the Ugandan prison, he returned to Nairobi and worked for some companies.

“I had made money from the drug business and other ventures. The drug business had made a tidy sum for me,” he told acting chief magistrate Doreen Mulekyo.

Mr Vaz claimed that Advanced Catering Services was his brainchild and that Mr Fernades overheard him discussing its formation and asked to be allowed to join.

Startup capital

Mr Fernades is then said to have come on board as an equal partner. The startup capital was Sh6 million, according to the trader. Apart from Mr Fernades, Mr Vaz said Mr Derrick Lisbon (deceased) was also a director at the company.

The petitioner further said he was notified by a bank where they deposited money that their account was closed and the balance at the time was Sh168, 610.

“The bank said that those funds were credited to the personal account of Mr and Mrs Fernades. The total amount lost from the account was Sh4.3 million,” said Mr Vaz.

The case continues on May 27.