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Truck driver slapped with 20 years imprisonment for being in possession of bhang

By Nathan Ochunge | Published Wed, February 14th 2018 at 11:20, Updated February 14th 2018 at 11:26 GMT +3

A heavy commercial driver has been slapped with 20-years imprisonment after being found guilty of being in possession of 242 kilos of bhang worth sh4.9million.

Cleodiah Asasia was arrested on February 11, 2016 at Malaba border from Kampala-Uganda enroute to Mombasa.

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He was taken to Teso North police station and later transferred to Bungoma G.K prison where he spent two years while his case was being heard.

This is after, Bungoma Chief Magistrate ,John King’ori, ordered that he be released on bond of sh5million or cash bail of sh1m but he was unable to pay which meant that his case to be heard while behind bars.

During his pleadings, Mr Asasia told the court that he was not guilty and that the bhang he was arrested with was packed into the truck without his knowledge.

He said that he had ferried wires to Kampala on the fateful day and decided to pick coffee cherries at the border on his way back to Mombasa.

“When they were packing the coffee cherries in the truck, someone sneaked the bhang into the vehicle without my knowledge,” he said during cross examination.

Richard Mwadime, an investigating officer from Teso North Police Station, told the court that Asasia was arrested while transporting bhang from Kampala to Mombasa.

“My lord, from our investigations, there were no indications that the suspect was transporting coffee. We found him in possession of 242 kilos of bhang which we have presented in court as the evidence,” said Mwadime.

Chief Magistrate King’ori while delivering his judgement said the case has taken two years and that and he wouldn’t wish to keep it longer as the accused has also been waiting for long to hear his judgement.

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“I am aware that the accused person has reformed and even studied a Diploma in Theology while in remand. But the case is question is so grave considering that Kenya today is at the forefront in war against Narcotic Drugs and this court cannot entertain this,” King’ori said.

“The accused person was found guilty of being in possession of bhang and therefore order he be jailed for 20 years or pay a fine of sh14.7million. The judgement is in accordance with the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act,” read part of the judgement.

The fine slapped to Mr Asasia is three times the value of bhang he was arrested with.

He also ordered for the bhang to be destroyed.

The bhang was burnt to ashes at Teso North Police Station in the presence of Chief Magistrate John King’ori, the DCIO David Njogu, the Investigating Officer Richard Mwadime and the Prosecutor Esther Githinji.