A report exposes the growing role of Western nationals in the transportation of narcotics and drug abuse in Kenya.
As the World Drugs Day was being marked on Tuesday, the report released early this month warns drug abuse is rife at the Kenyan coast with over 27,000 documented intravenous drug users, mainly hooked on heroin.
The report also documents the rising role of Pakistanis, West Africans and increasing role of Ethiopians in this illegal trade, with the drug of choice among foreigners being cocaine, amphetamine and heroin.
Of the African foreigners, Nigerians and Ghanaians are the most notorious importers or couriers of narcotics, mainly imported through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from airports in the Far East and the East Asian nations.
The report says that an American, Timmy Hakim, described as a ‘telecoms officer’ escaped from prison and a warrant of arrest is still in force while a compatriot committed suicide in a Kenyan jail after being arrested.
It also shows that although penalties for drug trafficking and consumption have risen steeply in the last decade, key foreign and Kenyans suspects set free on bail have escaped without trace and arrest warrants issued many years ago are still pending.
The report shows that an arrest warrant issued against George Kiragu over alleged links to the 1.14 tonne cocaine discovered in Nairobi and Malindi in 2006 still stands although his co-accused were acquitted three years ago.
The report was tabled in Parliament on June 5 by late Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said about 661 Kenyans and foreigners have been detained and tried for these crimes since 1980.
According to the report, one US citizen on drug charges died in Kenyan custody, allegedly by committing suicide, while the trial of an American priest, John Bishop, who was arrested on January 17, 2010 in Nairobi with 961.7 grammes of heroin after arriving from Mauritius has been pending since April that year.
Fellow American Jeffrey Brain was arrested twice on June 1 and June 2 last year with an undetermined amount of cocaine and his case is also pending before court.
But fellow US citizen Cecil Deon Kellums, then aged 51, committed suicide after being found with 17.4 kilogrammes of cocaine in his suitcase at JKIA on arrival from Amsterdam ten years ago.