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Court dismisses DPP application to detain Briton linked to cocaine trafficking

NAIROBI
By Faith Karanja | August 12th 2016

Nairobi High court has dismissed an application by the prosecution to detain a Briton linked to a cocaine haul worth over half a billion shillings seized at the Coast.

Justice Luka Kimaru while dismissing the application said the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko failed to produce enough reasons to detain Jack Marrian and a Kenyan Roy Francis Mwanthi.

"The DPP application lacks merit and does not produce any reason indicating why the two should not be released on Sh 70 million bond" said Kimaru.

Mwanthi was released on Sh60 million bond.

Marrian and Mwanthi are facing charges of trafficking nearly 100kg of cocaine in one of the country's biggest drug seizures in recent years.

They have however denied the charges. The haul was found by Kenyan police and US Drug Enforcement Agency officials in containers that had arrived from Brazil last week.

The drugs were allegedly shipped around the world in containers labelled as carrying sugar destined for Uganda.

Marrian was born into the famous line of Scottish nobility known as the Clan Campbell of Cawdor.The prosecutor said that documents found on the ship that was used to transport the cargo detailed Marrian as a director of Mshale Uganda Limited, the firm which was to receive the containers.

Police say that Marrian and Mwanthi, a director of Inland Africa Logistics Limited, had placed calls to the people processing the cargo at the port before it was impounded.

A spokeswoman for Mshale Commodities said: "Mshale is aware of speculation regarding an allegedly compromised shipment consigned to Mshale Commodities. We can confirm that Mshale's managing director, Jack Marrian, is assisting the Kenyan authorities to provide them with whatever information they require.

"Mshale operates stringent procedures to protect the integrity of its supply chain. Until these investigations are concluded, we are unable to comment further."

"We are aware of the seizure and the subsequent arrest of a UK national, and have assisted our Kenyan and US law enforcement partners. However, this is now a matter for the Kenyan authorities so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time," investigators say.

The maximum penalty for drug trafficking in Kenya is a life sentence and a fine of more than Sh1, 000, 000.

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