Kenya begins process to extradite drug barons to US
14 November 2014, 22:57
Nairobi - Authorities have begun the process of
extraditing four suspected drug traffickers to face charges in U.S. as the country increases its surveillance to curb the vice.
The move follows a directive by a Mombasa court late Thursday which
gave the authorities 17 days to process the extradition of Baktash and
Ibrahim Abdalla Akasha, Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami and Kulam Hussein
who were found in possession of 98 packets of heroine.
Mombasa Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru also ordered that the four
suspects, who are also linked to 343 kg heroine worth 14.4 million U.S.
dollars that was destroyed in a ship in September, be detained in police
custody until Dec. 1 when the case will be mentioned.
Gicheru declined an application by defence lawyer, Gikandi Ngibuini,
who sought orders to restrain the government from extraditing the
suspects to America illegally.
"I have the powers to issue a warrant of arrest. Compelling reasons
have been shown by the prosecution for why they should not be released
on bond," Gicheru ruled.
He said Kenya has a duty to cooperate with other countries in the
fight against international crimes, particularly those touching on
"The offense is very serious. There is no conflict between Kenya and
U.S. laws. They have not been charged with any offense and it is still
provisional warrant of arrest," the magistrate said.
Ngibuini had expressed his dissatisfaction at the one manner in which
one of the suspects was moved to Nairobi without the knowledge of the
"This situation is too delicate and we want the court to be firm. How
did the suspect leave a police cell without an order?" Ngibuini
decried, noting that the suspects should be accompanied by their lawyers
during any interrogation.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti wanted the
suspects remanded for 21 days. However, the court said they should
instead be held for 17 days considering they had already been in cells
for three days.
The two Akashas were among four men arrested last Sunday night after
months of investigations by Kenyan police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of
Investigations (FBI). The two other suspects are Indian Vijaygiri
Anandgiri Goswami and Pakistani Kulam Hussein Shabakash.
In the U.S. the four are to face trial on allegations of being part of an international drug trafficking ring.
Gicheru's order follows an application by the U.S through the Foreign
Affairs ministry and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
for the release of the four to Interpol.
The UN has identified the East African nation as a transport hub for
drugs going to Europe from Asia and the Middle East. Hardly a week
passes without an arrest of drug traffickers at the main airport.
Traffickers have increasingly been using roads to reach their
intended destinations become of improved surveillance at the airports.
Analysts say drug trafficking is also a threat to political stability
in Eastern Africa region because beneficiaries can use the illicit
money to influence government decision or support insurgent groups to
fight legitimate governments.
The money can also be used for crimes like money laundering that can disrupt national financial system.
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