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Kenya mounts security operation in coast over drugs, firearm

18 September 2015, 21:28

Mombasa - Kenya's security agencies has mounted a major security operation at the Mombasa port after they intercepted a ship suspected to be trafficking in drugs and firearms.

The paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) are now guarding the vessel which is also loaded with vehicles after it docked at the port, one of the largest ports in East Africa, on Thursday night.

Mombasa police commander Francis Wanjohi confirmed they were holding the ship for alleged narcotics and firearms smuggling.

"We have subjected the ship to thorough verification. The operation is being conducted by special unit from the GSU who arrived in the city last night," Wanjohi told Xinhua in Mombasa.

He said the paramilitary officers are working on highly classified intelligence information shared from foreign security agencies.

Also read: ODM condemns government closure of schools

Sources said a contingent of Kenya Defence Force (KDF) soldiers, the paramilitary police and regular police have been involved in the operation at the port, which has been sealed off, chasing all workers on duty.

The operation caused panic at the port as other security guards were ordered to leave for the security personnel who were ferried in. Wanjohi said they will confirm to the public what they will find out after verification.

"It was a precautionary measure that was taken for the sake of all. We have security officials manning the area waiting verification and we will inform the public the way forward after inspection," said Wanjohi."We had to wait until it arrived then moved in. The area is calm for now but verification will take time."

The operation comes after Kenyan authorities in August blew up a ship that was found trying to sneak in heroin worth 200,000 U.S. dollars off the Kenyan coast

The coastal city of Mombasa has been cited in many security reports as a transit point for drugs headed to Asia and Europe. According to latest police statistics, some 1,359 cases of drug trafficking were detected in Kenya in 2014 and 1,513 suspects arrested.


- Xinhua


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