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Sychellois, Kenyan jailed in Sh29m heroin trafficking case

Wednesday October 31 2018

Mr Clement Serge Bristol and Mr Ahmed Said Bakari

Mr Clement Serge Bristol and Mr Ahmed Said Bakari in a Mombasa court on October 30, 2018 over the trafficking of heroin worth Sh28.8million. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BRIAN OCHARO
By BRIAN OCHARO
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A Sychellois and a Kenyan have been sentenced to 10 and 20 years in jail respectively for trafficking heroin worth Sh29 million.

Clement Serge Bristol and Ahmed Said Bakari were additionally fined Sh5 million and Sh8 million respectively.

DRUGS MENACE

The suspects said they were remorseful, that they had already undergone rehabilitation and that they were willing to become productive members of the society.

In his ruling on Wednesday, however, Mombasa Chief Magistrate Julius Nang’ea noted that the drugs menace at the Coast must be dealt with through harsh sentences for those found guilty.

“I have heard submissions by the suspects that they have no previous criminal records. Nevertheless, the charges are very serious and involve trafficking of narcotic drugs worth millions of shillings. Deterrent sentences are therefore necessary to help curb the illicit drug menace in this region,” the magistrate said.

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Mr Nang’ea added that the prosecution submitted sufficient proof against the two.

TWO COUNTS

The suspects were jointly charged with two counts of trafficking narcotics worth the millions of shillings.

In the first count, they were charged with trafficking 2,028 grams of heroin worth Sh6 million in a car, hidden in the false top and bottom of a black suitcase. The Sychellois was acquitted of this charge.

In the second count, the two were charged with conveying 7,600 grams of heroin valued at Sh22.8million, wrapped in 10 polythene bags hidden in the water tank of Baby Iris Yacht.

Others charged in the case were Mohamed Bakari, Sharifu Mzee and Ahmed Hussein Salim, who were acquitted on Friday for lack of evidence.

While acquitting them, Mr Nang’ea noted that there was no sufficient evidence that they knew there were drugs in the yacht.

SENTENCES

The magistrate said: “Regarding the first count, Mr Said is fined Sh3 million and will in default serve 12 months in prison. In addition, he will serve five years in prison."

He added: "Mr Said, who has been convicted together with Mr Serge in the second count, is fined Sh5 million [with the alternative of] 12 months' imprisonment in default, and will in addition serve 15 years in prison. For avoidance of doubt, the sentences will run consecutively."

Regarding Mr Serge, Mr Nang’ea noted that the court had to take into account the three years he has spent in prion.

“On the second count, he is fined Sh 5million and will in default serve 12 months in prison. He will serve a further 10 years in prison."

Mr Nang’ea also ordered that Mr Clement be repatriated back to his country upon completion of the sentence.

THE CRIME

The group allegedly committed the offences on April 9,2015 at Kilifi Boat Yard in Mnarani area.

The boat was destroyed at the Delta 16 in the deep sea of the Indian Ocean on August 14, 2015 following orders from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The vessel was seized by the Kenya Navy patrol vessel at the boat yard after it was towed to Mombasa port.

The Sychellois and Kenyan were convicted as the magistrate ruled that evidence tabled in court showed they were aware of the presence of heroin in the yacht since they were its captain and caretaker.

“Said was the caretaker of the vessel on behalf of a Bilali Kimala Ndechumia. Owing to his closeness to the owner of the vessel where the drugs were recovered, he must have known of the presence of the heroin,” he said in the ruling on Friday.

State Counsel Jami Yamina said he will appeal against the acquittal of the three and for the sentences against the two to be enhanced.