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Akasha sons, two foreigners in court on drug trafficking charges

Monday November 10 2014

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta (right) with Baktash Akasha

Lawyer Cliff Ombeta (right) with Baktash Akasha Abdalla (left) and three other suspects being held by police over packets of heroin seized in Nairobi. The four were remanded in police custody for 14 days to enable police to complete drug trafficking-related investigations. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PHILIP MUYANGA
By PHILIP MUYANGA
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Anti-narcotics police are seeking to have four people, among them two sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha, remanded in police custody for 14 days to enable them to complete drug trafficking-related investigations.

The head of the unit, Mr Hamisi Massa, said that on Friday last week, 98 packets of heroin were seized in Nairobi County.

He also agreed to a request that five of them be released to the US government for evidential purposes.

Mr Massa said the suspects are liable to charges of conspiracy to traffic narcotic drugs in the US and in the country.

The suspects are Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla (Kenyans), Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami and Kulam Hussein (Indians).

“I have compelling reasons to request for 14 days to have the suspects remain in police custody to enable us (to) complete investigations for purposes of mutual legal assistance,” said Mr Massa in an affidavit filed in court.

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According to Mr Massa, the crime is transnational, involving a syndicate operating between Kenya and the US.

“The suspects face serious charges which if found guilty would attract a severe penalty in either Kenya or the US,” said Mr Massa.

He said the investigations are being conducted jointly between the US Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Police Service (NPS).

Mr Massa said the US and the NPS have a memorandum of understanding on joint investigations and operations.

He further added that the US government had expressed interest to apply for the extradition of the four suspects and that the international network involved in the syndicate can only be dealt with effectively through collaboration and international assistance.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru directed the application to be heard Tuesday inter partes.

The suspects, who are represented by lawyers Gikandi Ngibuini and Cliff Ombeta, were remanded at different police stations.

Prosecuting counsels George Muriithi and Lydia Kagori are representing the state.