Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan security personnel have intensified crackdown on
narcotics trafficking amid mounting evidence of its link
to gang violence that rocked the coastal city of Mombasa
Fred Matiang’i, cabinet secretary of
Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and Coordination of
National Government, announced the war against drugs
trade during a tour of Mombasa to quell street violence
linked to vicious control of the illicit business.
According to Matiang’i, narcotics trafficking was
fueling crime and street violence in the coastal region
to the detriment of the tourism sector that is a major
source of employment.
"There is a clear nexus between the recent gang
violence in Mombasa and fight over control of the drugs
business. We will launch a ruthless crackdown on the
drugs cartels that are sponsoring chaos in the coastal
region," said Matiang’i.
Shortly after Matiang’i visit to Mombasa, a raid on
the palatial home of a suspected drug lord and tycoon
was conducted by a multi-agency security team though he
was said to be out of the country.
Ali Punjani, the narcotics kingpin, has been on the
radar of local and foreign detectives since 2010 when he
was mentioned in parliament for his alleged involvement
in hard drugs by the then internal security minister
Media reports indicated that more than 20 police
officers raided Punjani’s palatial beach home on Monday
and spent hours searching for narcotics using sniffer
Johnston Ipara, Mombasa County police commander,
revealed that security officers were already having
names of Punjani’s associates whom they were pursuing
for arrest and interrogation on the drugs trade in the
Local media outlets reported that Punjani had been
admitted at a hospital in India where he sought
treatment for a heart-related condition.
He was in July mentioned at a New York courtroom by
Indian national, Vijaygiri Goswami as a rival to
renowned Mombasa-based narcotics kingpins, Baktash
Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha.
The two Akasha brothers, who inherited a vast
narcotics empire from their late father, are awaiting
sentencing by a New York court.
Security officers insisted that the drug war will
intensify across the country despite resistance from
powerful individuals involved in the illicit trade that
can attract life sentence.
A senior police officer attached to a station in Lamu
Island that is a world heritage site was early this week
arrested and detained after facilitating release of a
drug peddler and his consignment worth 50,000 Kenyan
shillings (500 U.S Dollars).
Muchangi Kioi, Lamu County police commander, said the
arrest of the officer who had served at his new post for
one and a half years, reaffirmed the government’s
commitment to eradicating narcotics trafficking in the
Kenyan security officers have already heightened
surveillance at ports of entry and major towns in their
bid to nab drug traffickers.
Sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal
Investigations on Monday arrested two prison wardens
after CCTV footage showed them hiding cocaine in a
bathroom at Manyani Maximum Security Prison located in
southeastern Kenyan county of Taita Taveta.
Kenya sets up
all-female police team to fight organized crime
by Chris Mgidu NAIROBI
(Xinhua) -- A team of elite
female police officers on Friday wrapped up
five-month-long standardized training program and will
be deployed to tackle organized crime in the east
The elite all-female Special Weapons and Tactics
(SWAT) team, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan
Africa, comprising of 48 commando officers, drawn from
the Administration Police Service (APS), have undergone
through five months of physical and combat drilling,
which is the first phase of their 15-month-long program.
Fred Matiang’i, cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry
of Interior and Coordination of National Government,
said the move came at a time when Kenya seeks to handle
emerging security threats and hostage crises promptly
and with precision.
"This is a momentous day for our country because we
can now rest assured that we have more officers who can
undertake intricate security operations that require
specialized approaches," Matiang’i said in a statement
issued in Nairobi.
"What we have witnessed today gives us confidence as
the government that we have the capacity to protect our
people and secure our country", he said, adding that the
team will greatly supplement the existing efforts of
securing the country.
Matiang’i said the officers are "job-ready" not only
to thwart terror threats and attacks but also enhance
Their training featured, among others, the
application of Israeli Krav Maga, multiple weapons
handling techniques as well as explosive and improvised
explosive device management.
Matiang’i said the commandos have so far demonstrated
unmatched expertise in all the devices assured them of
government’s full support in their work through improved
welfare, advanced training, and capacity building.
Hillary Mutyambai, inspector general of National
Police Service, committed to progressively increasing
the contingent in the next intake.
Mutyambai commended the collaboration with other
stakeholders in the security sector, which has greatly
improved service delivery.
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