Kenyan authorities have widen investigations into the 5.44 kg of heroin seized in Nairobi last week and expect to make more arrests soon after discovering crucial leads.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) spokesman Kennedy Onyonyi also said on Thursday that Saraphia Peter Shirima, the suspect who was arrested on Jan. 23 while attempting to traffic drugs through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is not a student but a radio presenter in Tanzania.
“She has a two-year Swedish resident permit issued on Nov., 28 2012, with expiry date of Nov. 28, 2014,” Onyonyi said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The 25-year-old lady was arrested on Jan. 23 during the ongoing surveillance and targeting operation aimed at curbing drug trafficking through JKIA. She was picked from the transit area after the officers went through the passenger manifest for Sabena Airlines.
“The drug was concealed in the false “top and bottom” of a Japan Express suitcase and was wrapped in black plastic paper to avoid detection at the screening machines,” Onyonyi said.
He said the government chemist has confirmed that the seized 5. 44 kg of consignment was heroin with a street value of 150,000 U. S. dollars.
The KRA official said investigators have discovered that the suspect’s purported Swedish husband, an electrical engineer by profession regularly travels to Kenya, Ghana and Mauritius, adding that there was no mention of Tanzania, although he is married from there.
He said another suspect, Hollacky Zahara Adam, 28, the lady who had accompanied her from Tanzania and handed over the ticket to her while in Kenya was arrested in a Nairobi hotel on the same night.
“The suspect led us to the boarding facility after informing us that Hollacky was the ‘recruiter and the link person’ between the drug baron and the couriers,” Onyonyi said.
“Investigations are still on-going and more suspects linked to this seizure may be arrested,” he added.
The East African nation has been restructuring the anti- narcotics police unit which has helped the country improve its capability to arrest drug peddlers using Kenya as a transit hub.
The authorities claimed to have made major gains since December 2010 following the arrest of several drug traffickers at the JKIA and in the Indian Ocean port city Mombasa.
He said the suspect had traveled from Tanzania using public means and was to fly from Kenya to Brussels with a final destination of Budapest, Hungary.
Onyonyi said further investigations to establish the sources and other possible connections are on-going jointly between KRA and security officers including anti-narcotics officers.
Kenya recently signed a bilateral agreement with some Western nations that among others allows the countries to cooperate on sharing intelligence on drug tracking crime.
The drug use if blamed for affecting the ability of thousands of youth in the coastal town from going to school or performing economically productive roles.-china.org.cn