Joel Gustavo Rodríguez García, an employee of Smartmatic International B.V, the company procured by IEBC to provide technology for the August 9th General Election, is among the foreigners embroiled in a back-and-forth with Kenyan authorities since his arrest on Thursday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Joel Gustavo, is a Venezuelan national and was arrested alongside two others, Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio and Salvador Javier Suarez, over possession of election-related materials.

A background check on Gustavo reveals that he is the Global Services Senior Deployment Manager at Smartmatic since 2017.
He has been at the technology company for over ten years, having first served as Global Services Warehouse and Global Logistic Manager for nearly five years.

According to Gustavo’s professional profile on LinkedIn, he, among other things, “reviews, communicates, and monitors tasks of all relevant stakeholders involved with the Global Service team’s operations, including senior executive management and our clients, to ensure the status of each project is on track, and identifies any potential issues that could compromise the timeline, budget, and quality of these initiatives.”

“Also I contribute in creation and validation of technology and service deployment strategies for electoral projects at a global level in collaboration with the project and verticals management team with the aim of achieving timely deployments, mitigating risks and according to the proposed cost,” he adds on his LinkedIn profile.

He also says that he is tasked with ​​deployment of electoral solutions and services to the company’s clients in America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa regions , as well as the Asia-Pacific region .

Prior to working at Smartmatic, he was Supply Chain Manager at Panama-based logistics company ​​Calox Panameña SA.

Although Gustavo was later freed after arrest by detectives at JKIA, his arrest and that of two other Venezuelans drew reactions from different quarters of the authorities, with the IEBC terming the incident as “unjustified intimidation, harassment and blackmail.”

The electoral body said Gustavo and the others were released conditionally and the poll materials had not been released as had been claimed.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations later dismissed IEBC’s comments, saying the so-called OCS Anti-Terrorism Police Unit which the three Venezuelans were to allegedly appear before, did not exist.

Police say during his arrest, Gustavo’s bag contained a laptop, a monitor, five flash drives, among other computer accessories, as well as rolls of election stickers

which he said was from his employer.

Gustavo was carrying 9 rolls of election stickers while Salvador Javier Suarez was carrying 8 rolls of the stickers.

” A further search was conducted at their apartment wherein the detectives seized and confiscated one tablet and two flash disks. All the seized electronic devices were forwarded to ATPU Forensic laboratory for examination and analysis,” police said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the police, the three did not bear any letter or documentation indicating that he had been invited by IEBC, but they were in Kenya on the invitation of someone identified as Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed.

“As per the contract dated 25th November 2021 between IEBC and M/S Smartmatic International Holding B.V vide tender no. IEBC/01T/001/21/2022-2021 the three suspects are not expressly indicated as employees of IEBC or Smartmatic International B.V,” the statement added.

“It is an established fact that the three foreigners were invited by one Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed at his office in Nairobi.”

The three are also accused of travelling using expired passports.

Citizen Digital is yet to obtain background information on Camargo Castellanos Jose Gregorio and Salvador Javier Suarez the two other foreigners that had been arrested alongside Joel Gustavo.

By citizen Digital

Leave your comment