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Madagascar deports a suspected major Kenyan drugs trafficker

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Monday confirmed receiving a key drug suspect who was deported from Madagascar after being linked to the 220,000 U.S. dollars worth of heroin that was destroyed in the Indian Ocean two years ago.

Head of Directorate Criminal Investigations (DCI) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Joseph Mugwanja said Ndechumia Bilali Kimali, a Kenyan, who arrived in the country on Monday morning from Madagascar is being interrogated by the anti-narcotics police unit.

Mugwanja said Kimali is a key suspect in a case involving a luxurious boat, MV Baby Iris which had 7.6 kgs of heroin that was seized on April 20, 2015 in the coastal town of Kilifi.

"Kimali is believed to be the mastermind behind the trafficking of illicit drugs that were destined to overseas.

"He is suspected to be a member of locally-based as well as foreign-based drug barons currently under investigation," Mugwanja said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said five suspects were arrested then and taken to court.

However, Kimali escaped and he has been on the run since then.

"The boat was destroyed with the drugs on August 14, 2015 but the case is pending before court.

"The suspect is due to appear in court and face charges of drug trafficking in narcotics involving 7.6kgs of heroin valued at 220,000 dollars," Mugwanja said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has put drug barons in Mombasa on notice, declaring a total war on the menace that has ruined the lives of many young people in the country.

Kenyatta has said the port of Mombasa will no longer be a passage for the importation of illicit drugs.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has on several occasions cited Kenya as a transit point for re-packaging and trans-shipment of drugs to Europe and America.

International investigators have established that proceeds from narcotics trade are used to finance global terrorist network.

The yacht christened Baby Iris was destroyed by the Kenyan military under supervision of top government officials.

Before its capture in a yard in Kilifi on April 10 2015, MV Baby Iris which is registered in Singapore, ferried wealthy Western tourists and vacationers to Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

Seychellois Clement Serge Bristol and four other Kenyans- Ahmed Said Bakari, Mohamed Bakari Mohamed, Shariff Mzee Mohamed and Ahmed Hussein Salim are facing charges of trafficking the heroin.

Myugwanja warned that criminals committing crime in Kenya and running to other countries will be pursued and brought back in the country to face law.

"Our law enforcement agencies are in constant collaboration with other agencies outside Kenya to make sure that criminals will not have safe haven in their quest to commit crime in our country or elsewhere," he added.

Anti-narcotics police officers say most of the drug traffickers have also been avoiding airports for roads, which are poorly manned to traffic the drugs.

Most of the narcotics that are seized are cocaine and heroin.

Statistics show police at the airport seized drugs valued more than 10 million dollars every year alone.

Most of those arrested were passengers who were on transit.




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