Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa, flanked by religious leaders, outside Bamburi Police Station in Mombasa County yesterday, where suspected drug traffickers arrested over the weekend were taken. [photo: Maarufu Mohamed/Standard]
At least nine people were arrested and heroin worth Sh170 million confiscated as the police intensified the war against drugs at the Coast.
Besides the 17 kilogrammes of heroin, the officers also recovered Sh18.4 million in cash from some of the suspects in night raids in several estates, including Nyali and Kisauni in Mombasa County as well as Kanamai in Kilifi County on Saturday and Sunday.
Coast region, particularly Mombasa, has been on the spotlight since late last month when the Government launched the anti-narcotics war.
The war was upped by the extradition of the Akasha brothers, alongside and Indian and a Pakistani, to the US to face drugs-related charges. And on Saturday, two retired South African soldiers were arrested when the police raided a hotel and an apartment in Mombasa.
However, lawyer Cliff Ombeta said Marc Anthony Faivelewitz and Barend David Nolte are innocent. He said they entered Kenya two weeks ago and were to work as bodyguards to one (Vijaygiri) Goswami.
Ombeta claims the two entered Kenya legally, on tourist visas, on the invitation by Goswami, the Indian national who was extradited to the US alongside Gulam Hussein of Pakistan, Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha to face drug trafficking charges.
The South Africans were arrested at Nyali Beach hotel. They are said to have been in the process of obtaining new visas to enable them offer security services in Kenya.
Two Seychellois men, Nelson Vivian George’s Domingeuz and Nedy Conrad Rodney Micock, were also arrested in a raid on an apartment in Nyali estate, Mombasa. Their legal status in Kenya was not clear with claims they have been deported.
The police have claimed four of the suspects are partners in international crime and have been on the list of wanted criminals for years. There are reports the arrests were as a result of combined efforts between officials from different security agencies and Interpol.
Ombeta admitted there are arrest warrants against the Seychellois but not the South Africans. Tanzanians were also among those arrested. The law student, identified as Wendy Kinyua, is said to have been found with a lot of cash at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa where she was reportedly trying to board a plane to Nairobi. The police have since linked her to the Seychellois Micock.
Yesterday, Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache gave the police five days to investigate the suspects. The prosecution said more people are set to arrested.
“The suspects should be detained in Nyali to allow the police complete investigations. They should, however, be treated fairly, given food and clean water,” said Mochache.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa and head of the Anti-Narcotic Unit Hamis Massa said they will not relent until all drug dealers are arrested and prosecuted. Those nabbed in the Kanamai raid are Swaleh Yussuf Ahmed Kendereni and his in-law Farida Omar Said. They two are said to be key distributors.
Also arrested was Kendereni’s wife Asma Abdalla Mohamed who led detectives to Bamburi where 15 kilogrammes of heroin were found in a store belonging to Farida. Kendereni was among those taken to court yesterday. Rashid Athuman and Athuman Salim, found in Kendereni’s company during the raid, were also arrested.