President Uhuru Kenyatta witnesses destruction of Sh1bn heroin at sea

Friday August 29 2014

The ship carrying heroin worth over Sh1 billion

The ship carrying heroin worth over Sh1 billion is blown up at sea on Friday August 29, 2014. President Kenyatta witnessed the destruction and said this should serve as a stern warning to drug barons. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KAZUNGU CHAI
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President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday sent a clear signal to drug traffickers that they will not be allowed to continue the illegal trade at the expense of the Kenyan youth.

He personally led an operation to blow up a ship and destroy heroin worth over Shs1 billion.

The President, aboard a Kenya Air Force chopper, accompanied the Kenya Navy in their modern warship KNS Jasiri, journalists, security personnel and anti-narcotic officials witnessed as the ship and the drugs were blown off in a well-coordinated exercise in the high seas.

The destruction of drugs impounded by the Kenya Navy in August 2014 was also witnessed by delegates who have been in Mombasa attending the 16th East Africa Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (EAPCCO) annual general meeting.

Also present was Nacada Chairman John Mututho.

Journalists captured the destruction of the drugs aboard the Kenya Navy warship shortly after 4.00pm.

Earlier, the drugs were loaded into the ship that was blown up in the deep sea.

SERVE AS WARNING

President Kenyatta had earlier announced that the illicit drugs would be destroyed to serve as a warning to those bent on ruining the lives of young Kenyans.

The President said the Port of Mombasa would no longer be a passage for the importation of illicit drugs.

“We will not allow drug barons to destroy the future of our young people. We will track and deal with them decisively,” President Kenyatta said.

Addressing the press before the ship containing the illicit drugs was detroyed, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said the government will not relent and has enhanced patrol in the sea to secure the future of Kenyan children by keeping them off drugs.

Earlier, the Government Chemist said the impounded drugs had been tested and confirmed to be heroin.

The tests were done in the presence of County Commissioner Marwa, generals from the Kenya Navy, senior officials of Nacada, the media, members of the public and the Private Secretary at the Presidency, Mr Jomo Gechaga.

TRACK SUSPECTS

Mr Mututho said the destruction of the drugs and the ship as ordered by President Kenyatta should serve as the final warning to drug barons.

He said owners of the destroyed drugs will be tracked down and prosecuted.

“We are investigating 50 suspected drug barons and we are sure we will recommend action by the end of the year,” Mr Mututho said.

He praised the President’s move, saying he was the first head of State in Africa to personally lead the war against narcotics.

The Nacada boss asked Parliament to review and strengthen the anti-narcotics law of 1994 to hasten the conclusion of drug-related cases in courts.

He cited China where drug traffickers are hanged 48 hours after conviction and said time was ripe for ‘our Parliament to borrow a leaf from other progressive countries among them, Singapore and Dubai’.