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Briton among suspects held for Sh360m cocaine haul

COAST
By Cyrus Ombati | August 2nd 2016
PHOTO:COURTESY

A Briton and two Kenyans have been arrested in connection with the seizing of cocaine worth Sh360 million.

The three are being interrogated by a special team of US anti-narcotics authorities and their Kenyan counterparts in Nairobi following the seizing of 90kg of the drugs at the Port of Mombasa on Friday.

The drugs were flown to Nairobi on Sunday evening for security reasons, sources said.

According to police, the three suspects are linked to a drug smuggling cartel from South America and in particular Brazil where the shipment originated from. They were trailed by foreign and local anti-narcotics authorities for months, police added.

The cocaine was in a shipment of sugar destined for Uganda from Venezuela when it was seized. The ship carrying the consignment was allowed to leave Mombasa because the drugs were seized after the consignment had been offloaded.

"If the consignment had been found on board the ship, it would not have been allowed to leave the port. It left on Saturday because the cargo had been removed," our source explained.

Last year, the Government ordered the destruction of a ship found with heroin and there were fears this one would have suffered the same fate.

According to port documents, 18 containers were loaded on the vessel, MSC Posetano, at Santos Port in Brazil on June 20. Each one was loaded with 520 bags of sugar.

The US team taking part in the ongoing probe is the same one that was involved in the arrest of two sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha and three foreigners in Mombasa and Nairobi in 2014.

Baktash Akasha, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein (Indian) and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami (Indian) are facing extradition proceedings after the US applied for their arrest.

There have been complaints from the US that most drugs seized there originate from the Mombasa port. The drugs usually arrive in Kenya for repackaging before they are shipped to the US or Europe.

The multi-agency team handling the seized drugs completed the verification process and moved to Nairobi with the haul. Coast Regional police boss Francis Wanjohi said they had handed over the case to Nairobi.

"The matter is now in Nairobi where more probing and analysis is going on," said Mr Wanjohi.

 

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