Remember the days when hard drugs used to be something people on TV would do and had nothing to do with you? Well those days are long gone. There seems to be a lot of news going around about drugs and the many foreigners that have been arrested in not just Kenya but Tanzania too. This is some daunting and perplexing news but we are here to give you a quick rundown of these events.
- Kenya and East Africa at large has become a key stopover in the drug trade. Kenya and Tanzania’s location and access to the Indian Ocean have incorporated the countries into the ‘Balkan and Southern Route’ that stretches from Afghanistan all the way to Europe.
2. In this seizure nine people involved in the smuggling were apprehended and heroin that is worth Sh.170 million was confiscated by the police. 4 of these suspects were extradited to the US where they will receive their sentencing. The smugglers include Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha; who are brothers and Kenyan nationals and whose father was a noted wealthy drug baron, Indian national Vijaygiri Goswami and Pakistani citizen Gulam Hussein, reports Nation.
3. The four suspects have been described as some of ‘the most dangerous global drug traffickers’ by the Drug Enforcement Administration–a United States federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use. They could face over 20 years in prison if convicted.
4. Other individuals nabbed for possession are two South African soldiers, Nelson Vivian George’s Domingeuz and Nedy Conrad Rodney Micock who are both from the Seychelles, a law student and an unspecified number of Tanzanian citizens. Standard reports that key drug distributors were also arrested during a raid at Kanamai, Mtwapa identified as Swaleh Yussuf Ahmed Kendereni, his wife Asma Abdalla Mohamed and in-law Farida Omar Said, found with 15 kilograms of heroin.
5. This is not the first big drug crackdown on drugs at the Kenyan coast. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released a report in 2015 that showed that in July 2014 Kenyan police found 342 kg of heroin in the tank of a ship in Mombasa making it the biggest ever single seizure of drugs in the city but is nothing compared to the 1,21 tonnes of cocaine confiscated in Malindi and Mombasa in 2004 which stands as the biggest drug bust in the country.
6. A number of individuals have been marked as persons of interest including Gideon Mbuvi, the Joho Brothers, Harun Mwau and William Kabogo. A few Tanzanian celebrities have also been accused of being involved in the drug trade, claims that have been vehemently denied by Wema Sepetu, Khaleed Mohamed (TID), Winfrida Josephat (Recho), Khery Sameer (Mr Blue), Hamidu Chambuso (Dogo Hamidu) and Rashid Makwiro (Chid Benz).
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