Kenya gave names of drug lords to the US

Wednesday November 17 2010

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger at a past function. PHOTO/FILE

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger at a past function. PHOTO/FILE 

By DOMINIC WABALA [email protected]

Kenya provided the names of suspected drug king-pins banned from travelling to the US, the Nation has established.

The US embassy on Wednesday said the four government officials and a businessman are well-known to Kenyan intelligence agents who have been investigating their links to the lucrative narcotics trade.

The men will be included in a US report on narcotics situation in Kenya. The US embassy declined to name the five saying that would go against its policy but added that the people are well-known to the government.

US embassy press officer Katya Thomas on Wednesday said: “The investigation is a Kenyan process.”

US ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Tuesday announced that his government had banned four politicians and a businessman from travelling to America over their suspected role in drug trafficking.

He said that the decision was based on reliable and corroborative reports linking the five to narcotics trade.

The four have been described as an assistant minister, a recently elected MP and another from Coast province and one from Central province.

The fifth individual is a Mombasa based businessman with interests in other parts of the country.

Mr Ranneberger announced that the US Drug Enforcement Agency will soon establish its offices in Kenya to help crackdown on traffickers.

He said the US was concerned that drug barons were using their ill-gotten wealth to contribute to political campaigns and buy leadership in the country.

Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe on Wednesday only said intelligence collected on drug traffickers keeps changing everyday.

“Our intelligence keeps getting information but converting this into evidence is not very easy,” Mr Kiraithe said.

Senior police officers met yesterday morning at Vigilance House to discuss the action to take over the ban, but details were not forthcoming.