State deploys elite units to curb runaway drug trafficking

State has deployed special anti -narcotics and anti-terror police officers to Isiolo County to help contain the menace. [Bruno Muntunga/ Standard]

Elite squads have been deployed to Isiolo to monitor activities of drug dealers behind the trafficking of popular Ethiopian bhang into the country.

The officers from the Police Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) and Anti-Terror Unit (ATPU) who will spearhead the crackdown on the cartels operating between the border town of Moyale and Nairobi, will be based in Isiolo town. 

The ATPU is already based in Isiolo but the newcomers, with special skills would assist their local colleagues.

Yesterday, officials from the office of the Director General of Police led by ATPU boss John Gachomo held a closed door meeting with Isiolo security committee team led by County Commissioner Herman Shambi and County Police Commander Joseph Kigen at the local senior officers mess. 

Their arrival comes two days after The Standard, in an investigative piece, detailed how the now popular Ethiopian bhang brand dubbed ‘Shashamanne’ is smuggled across the Kenya-Ethiopia border before the consignments are transported through two key routes to Nairobi.

The transit points are in Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu and Meru before the haul reaches Nairobi and thereafter distributed to other parts of the country.

“Apart from fighting drug trafficking, the units would also look at smuggling of contraband goods from neighbouring countries (Ethiopia and Somalia), human smuggling and terrorism activities,” said the ATPU boss.

Patrols will also be stepped up in the sub-counties of Isiolo, Merti and Garba Tula.