A Nairobi politician, with powerful connections in Government, is behind the Sh204 million-heroin a special police unit seized last week.But in a strange turn of events, the police have literally thrown in the towel over arresting the politician they say owns the speedboats used to transfer the drugs from the high seas to his house. The politician is said to be under the protection of a well-connected activist and businesswoman. As if to underline their impotence in the face of the worsening drugs crisis, the police complained drug barons were "boasting in public places" how the force is useless.
A statement from police headquarters further claimed the drug barons were intimidating and attempting to bribe police officers investigating the high profile case.The police claim the beneficiaries of the haul were using every means to discredit the police so they could continue drug trafficking.Last week, the officers led by Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere airlifted what they said was 196kg of the highly addictive narcotic to Nairobi, using a helicopter under the cover an F5E jet fighter.
Upon landing at Wilson Airport, the drug was quickly secured by armed General Service Unit officers with a fighter jet sitting on the runway.But in a strange turn of events barely 24 hours later, police told journalists the drug they were holding was in fact 102kg, 94kg less than what they earlier declared.
Yesterday, Mr Iteere issued a statement through spokesman Eric Kiraithe and warned they would not relent in their efforts to get those behind the haul. "Some of them are boasting in public places saying police are useless and have tried to compromise, demoralise and intimidate officers pursuing the case. Let the beneficiaries know the war is still on," said Kiraithe.He did not explain the ways the barons have tried to use to curtail investigation.Kiraithe spoke as it emerged police are now concentrating on the ‘owners’ of five speedboats believed to have been used in bringing the drug ashore at the Coast before one of them was impounded.
Ali Mohamed (right), Khan Mohamed (centre) and Abdul Baseet at Nairobi Law Courts Thursday, where they are facing charges of trafficking narcotics. [PHOTO: EVANS HABIL/ STANDARD]
Sources said the speedboats, which are usually parked in the Bamburi area, have been linked to the Nairobi politician named in the investigations.Police are yet to interrogate the politician even after his mobile phone was found to have been in constant contact with some of the suspects in custody over the seizure, and him being a master to one of them.The same man has been linked to the house where the 102kg haul was netted on March 21, in Shanzu.Police claim the politician enjoys the protection of an official in the Ministry of Internal Security who has blocked police from interrogating him.Fear calling
"He has been mentioned, but police fear calling him for interrogation. This haul does not belong to the six people who were caught with it. Reports indicate it is his," said a detective close to the investigations who requested anonymity.But yesterday, Kiraithe said police investigations are still on, and warned they would not spare anyone if there would be evidence to show link with the shipping of the drugs."It doesn’t matter who he is, he will have to face the law if and when his time comes. These drugs are causing a lot of damage to our society and those responsible for their importation have to be answerable," he said.He said anyone found to be linked to the haul would be enjoined in the case, which is in court.Kiraithe confirmed investigators are pursuing leads that the seized haul could have been part of a larger consignment of about two tons that was shipped in from Pakistan. The ship waited in the high seas before speedboats started delivering the drugs to coastal towns of Lamu and Malindi.Other reports indicated some of the haul may have ended up in Zanzibar, through the same speedboats undetected, and officers there have been alerted.Officers rushed to Lamu and Malindi to follow leads that there were more of the drug that may have been shipped there in a similar manner.Although the owner of the house is known police are yet to reveal the registered owner of the two cars – a Nissan saloon car and a Toyota Rav4 that delivered the haul to the house.Kiraithe insisted according to their register, the two pistols and 59 bullets that were seized from two of the suspects were illegally owned. The suspects have given out firearms licenses, which show they had the guns legally.He added investigations into the case are complex given some of the suspects in custody had arrived in Mombasa two days before the seizure by officers from Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Anti-Narcotics Unit.The suspects include three Kenyans, two Iranians and a Pakistani. Kiraithe said they had initially presumed the haul to be 196kg, based on the 2kg-mark on each of the 98 packets, which were seized.Nothing wrong"But when our officers and those from Government Chemist weighed it in Nairobi while preparing a charge sheet they found it to be 94kg less. There is nothing wrong," stated Kiraithe.The seizure of heroin at an apartment in Shanzu followed a two-week wait by police who had been tipped the narcotics would be arriving.Police said the traffickers had arrived and were waiting for the ground to clear before delivering.The traffickers were using a GPRS phone to communicate with their contacts at sea for direction before they could deliver the cargo.The drug was disguised as dog food under the brand name and labeled, "Science Plan: Veterinary formulated Canine Senior for older dogs. New improved taste." The whitish powder was concealed in nylon papers.One of the suspects identified had, according to police, rented the apartment two days before the arrival of the drugs.The suspect introduced his other accomplices as investors who wanted to rent the Jupiter Apartment, police boss said.Other Kenyan suspects were Hassan Ibrahim, and Yusuf Hassan. Iranians suspects were identified as Ali Mohamed and Abduk Baseet. There was also Khan Mohamed, a Pakistani.Police say they want to establish if the six were part of a syndicate, and that their intention is to break it by dismantling their local and international networks.
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