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Akasha son to be sentenced today

By Wainaina Wambu | April 19th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Baktash Akasha at the Mombasa Court in Mombasa County during their second day in Court. Kelvin Karani/Standard]
Confessed drug-trafficker Baktash Akasha will today know his fate when he appears before a New York court for sentencing.

Baktash (pictured) could be facing life in prison, which is the maximum sentence for drug-related offences. He pleaded guilty together with his brother Ibrahim Akasha to at least six counts of drug trafficking in the US last year.

The brothers have been held in the US for the past two years. Ibrahim Akasha’s fate will be determined in July.

The brothers pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin and methamphetamine, and conspiracy to import the drugs into the US.

The counts carry a minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

They also pleaded guilty to bribing Kenyan State officials in their fight against extradition, as well as conspiracy to use guns to facilitate their drug trafficking business.

Kenya’s anti-narcotics unit Chief Amisi Massa was present as they took the plea.

The two, together with Pakistani national Gulam Hussein and Indian national Vijaygiri Goswami, were extradited in January 2017 to the US following their arrest in Mombasa.

US prosecutors had also charged them with conspiring to smuggle 98 kilogrammes of heroin into the US from Kenya.

At first Baktash, was to be sentenced in February this year. The sentencing was rescheduled to March 15, before it was moved again to today.

Kenya had been working with the US and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collecting evidence that linked the brothers to the trafficking of narcotics to the US.

Their extradition was as a result of US authorities' intense probe into the Akasha family drug empire. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had spent years trying to infiltrate it.

The family is alleged to have been involved in drug trade for many years, with the sons taking over after their late father Ibrahim Akasha was killed in cold blood at a street in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Akashas' lawyers tried to fight their extradition but failed.

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