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Kenya Navy destroys luxury yacht ferrying Sh22 million drugs

By Philip Mwakio | August 15th 2015

The Kenya Navy blew up a Singapore-registered luxury yacht off the Coast laden with narcotics in Kilifi County, Friday.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery warned that authorities will be ruthless with drug traffickers and their crafts or implements.

Mv Baby Iris was blown up in a controlled explosion at 1.30p.m. yesterday, some 20 nautical miles into the sea after being rigged with explosives. Police said the yacht was laden with heroin.

On August 28 last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the destruction of an Iranian flagged ship MV Al Noor which had been intercepted by the Navy off the Coast of Lamu laden with drugs worth Sh1.3 billion.

Anti-narcotics detectives estimate the heroin found on the yacht, initially said to be owned by a British national, to be worth Sh22 million. Police have never divulged whether the Briton was apprehended.

Before it was seized in a yard in Kilifi on April 10 MV Baby Iris which is registered in Singapore ferried wealthy Western tourists between Kenyan ports, Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam, Madagascar and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Seychellois Clement Serge Bristol who was the yacht’s pilot and Kenyans Ahmed Said Bakar, Mohamed Bakari Mohamed, Sharifu Mzee Mohamed and Ahmed Hussein Salim have been charged with trafficking heroin.

Nkaissery yesterday witnessed the yacht’s destruction and reiterated the government’s commitment to eliminate narcotics trade through Kenya.

“We are committed to the war on drugs or any other forms of narcotics,’’ Nkaissery told the media.

Journalists were allowed to watch the boat’s destruction from a distance, aboard KNS Jasiri naval vessel.

The yacht was blown to pieces and sunk at an area believed to have a depth of more than 362 metres deep with only the vessel’s life craft staying afloat. This is the second time the Kenyan government is destroying vessels laden with narcotics.

Nkaissery who was acompanied by Principal Secretary, Monica Juma, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and Kenya Navy Commander Maj Gen Levi Mghalu and Mombasa County Comissioner, Nelson Marwa said that the destruction symbolised the government’s commitment to fight illicit drugs.

He noted that since the government started the crack down on illicit drugs, cocaine, heroine and marjuana worth Sh196 million have been seized and destroyed.

“Time is up for drug dealers. Kenya shall not be used as a drug trafficking den. We are intensifying the fight and will ensure that goods inbound and outbound at all our border locations undergo thorough check,” he said.

He regretted that more than two million youths in the country are addicted to drugs.

“This is a very sad state of affairs as our youths' future is in jeorpady. We shall stand firm and ensure that the future of our youths is not derailed by anyone,” he said.

Speaking earlier, NACADA director Sheikh Juma Ngao said that the destruction was a clear indication that the state is committed to the war on  drugs.

“This is a signal to international drug barons that they are not wanted in Kenya and should go elsewhere,” he said.

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