Unofficial statics from the police and anti-drug campaigners indicate that more than 150 drug addicts have been rounded up and charged across the region in recent years.
Numerous reports, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report of 2011, have cited Mombasa as a region that is increasingly being used as a transit hub for narcotics on the global circuit.
In September 2011, the International Peace Institute reported that profits from the illicit drug trade had infiltrated Kenyan politics, linking officials to international cocaine and heroin smuggling rings.
Since he took power in 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta has sustained the war against narcotics which has led to the destruction of two sea going vessels within a year.
In August 28, 2014, Uhuru supervised the destruction of Iranian flagged Mv Bushehr which was impounded with 377kg of heroin worth Sh1.3 billion. The suspects arrested on board, all foreigners, were denied bail and are still on trial in Mombasa.
The vessel was impounded by Kenya’s naval forces with the assistance of foreign navies off the coast of Lamu and dragged to Mombasa mid 2013.
One year later, on August 14, 2015, the military also blew up a Singaporean registered luxury yacht off the Mombasa coast, which police said was found stuffed with narcotics.
Anti-narcotics detectives estimated the heroin seized on the yacht, Mv Baby Iris, to be worth Sh20 million. Initially, police in Mombasa claimed the vessel, whose Seychellois captain Clement Serge Bristol is among suspects on trial, ferried tourists between Mombasa, Dar es Salaam and Madagascar.
Police also named claimed the yacht’s British owner had been summoned from London, but it is not clear if he was ever interrogated.
The largest drug haul to be made in Kenya’s history involved the capture in 2004 of cocaine worth Sh5.3 billion in Malindi.
The seizure became a matter of legendary police missteps that led to the acquittal of most suspects, murder of police officers involved in the matter and the alleged disappearance of part of the haul during its “destruction”.
In October 2013, a Lithuanian national, Kudrika Gytis and a Kenyan national, Anna Muthoni, were arrested at Wananchi Hotel in Ganjoni area with heroin worth Sh49 million after their partner, Reikumas Ricards, their alleged accomplice, was found death in his hotel room, apparently from a drug overdose.
In July 2013, police in Mombasa seized heroin worth Sh11 million at the Moi International Airport and arrested a Kenyan woman while boarding a flight to Germany.
In the same month, police arrested a Russian national, Kurtasov Andrey, in Mombasa and deported him over claims he was involved in drug trafficking.
Police said she had stayed in Mombasa for 15 years where, but it is not clear why she was never put on trial in Kenya.