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Fresh revelations on cocaine haul as State remains tight-lipped

By Benard Sanga | Jul 31st 2016 | 2 min read
Some of sacks from the containers suspected to be carrying Cocaine inside Kenya Ports Authority premises in Mombasa. (Photo: Kelvin Karani/Standard)

The search of the suspect cargo seized at the Mombasa Port entered day two amid new revelations that the Uganda owner imported the containers through a Tanzanian contact in Mombasa. 

Reports indicate that the Tanzania contact lives between Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, but Kenya Revenue Authority sources say the owner has not yet been established.

The source told The Standard on Sunday that although Bill of Lading indicate that the cargo was in transit to Uganda, the owner or clearing agent had not lodged a cargo manifest, which could have revealed the actual ownership.

Police sources had earlier indicated that the substance sample could be cocaine; however, they have been flown to the government chemist in Nairobi for further analysis.

Mombasa County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed Sunday confirmed that a multi-agency team was carrying out the verification exercise, but refused to divulge more details.

Reports from sources privy to the probe have also indicated that security agents were tipped by the international police (Interpol) after the four containers were loaded at an Asian country and its contents labelled as sugar.

This prompted the Kenya authorities to seize the cargo upon arrival on Saturday, reportedly because the country does not import sugar from the Asian nation in the Arabian Peninsula.

Sunday security and police officers maintained their silence over the verification exercise of the four containers still held at Mombasa Port Police Station.

"Guys you have to wait. You broke the story but for any other details you will have to wait," said the head of anti-narcotic, Mr Hamis Massa.

Police sources further showed that sachets containing cocaine were recovered from the first container that was stripped by a continent security officer conducting the operation.

Other police sources indicate that Kenya Police have already sought assistant from the Interpol in their quest to track down the suspects or their associates.

"As I said I cannot confirm or deny that the operation has recovered narcotics. We will have to wait until the exercise is complete," said Maalim.

The containers were shipped to Mombasa by a Panama-flagged vessel and offloaded at Berth 16. The actual value of the illegal substance has not also been established.

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