Bill proposes Sh30m fine for drug traffickers

Individuals found guilty of trafficking drugs could be fined up to Sh30 million if Parliament enacts a new Bill.

The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also proposes a life imprisonment or both for those found in possession of drugs.

Law enforcement agencies abetting drug trafficking will be fined not less than Sh20 million or jailed for 20 years, or both. “The principal objective of the Bill is to enhance penalties of the offence of trafficking narcotic drugs; define who law enforcement officers are in respect to the Act and prescribe offences for law enforcement officer who aids or abets or is an accessory to any offence under the Act,” reads the Bill by Nyali MP Mohammed Ali (pictured).

Although the current law prescribes punishment of up to life in prison for drug traffickers, offenders have often gotten away with the crime, getting less punitive fines - Sh1 million or three times the value of the drug.

The proposed law maintains the non-mandatory life sentences, but enhances the fines. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Kenya is a key hub for drug traffickers owing to porous borders.

UNODC cites major airports in Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopia as key transit routes for drugs owing to their connection to West Africa and heroin producing countries in South East Asia.

According to Nacada, 18.2 per cent of Kenyans aged between 15 and 65 abuse at least one drug.

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trafficking drugsNyali MP Mohammed Ali