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U.S. requests Kenya to extradite alleged Mombasa drug barons

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- The U.S. on Tuesday requested Kenya to extradite two sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha and two foreigners to stand trial in Washington over international drug trafficking.

Kenya’s State Counsel Alexander Muteti said the four, Baktash Akasha, Ibrahim Akasha, Hussein Shabakash, and Vijay Goswami, are wanted in America for alleged drug trafficking.

"We have been served with notices through the ministry of foreign affairs and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), wanting the country to enforce the arrest of four individuals to stand trial in America," Muteti told a Mombasa court on Tuesday.

Muteti told the court that the DPP’S office received the notice on Monday that requested Kenya to co-operate by executing a provisional arrest for purpose of extradition.

The State Counsel has told the court that the four are under the Interpol Red notice for allegedly engaging in narcotic trade.

Report indicated on Monday that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration would apply for their extradition to face charges of conspiracy to traffic narcotic drugs.

The anti-narcotics police unit in Mombasa said they arrested the four together with 98 packets of heroin over the weekend, and five packets were released to the U.S. government for evidential purposes.

This is the first high-level arrest of drug barons at the coast, three months after President Uhuru Kenyatta supervised the destruction of a ship laden with heroin worth 111,200 U.S. dollars.

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.

Muteti said the Kenya government is signatory of international treaty on drug enforcement hence to comply in arrest and their extradition of the four suspects.

Kenya is now expected to process the extradition request within the next 21 days and the four are wanted in the U.S. courts where they are facing charges of conspiring to import narcotics.

Gowsami, an Indian, is also faced with another count of importing methamphetamine violating the United States laws.

The fact in the charge also emphasizes that the Akashas - whose father Ibrahim Akasha, Kenya’s suspected drug baron, was killed by drug mafias in 2000 - as the leaders of organized crimes and drug trafficking networks.

Shabakash is also mentioned to be a transporter of multi- hundred-kilogram quantities of heroin in the Middle East, including from Afghanistan and Pakistan region.

The detectives believe the four are among those behind the haul of heroine worth over 11.2 million dollars seized in July in the Kenyan high seas.

The UN has identified East African nations as a drug transport hub for drugs going to Europe from Asia and the Middle East. Hardly a month passes without an arrest of drug traffickers at the main airport.

Traffickers have increasingly become smatter because of improved surveillance at the airports and have now resorted to using roads to reach their intended destinations.


Mozambique 'drug baron' Momade Bachir Suleiman allegedly kidnapped

MAPUTO (Xinhua) -- One of Mozambique’s richest men, Momade Bachir Suleiman, was kidnapped on Wednesday in Maputo in the premises of the Maputo Shopping Center, one of the largest business centers in the country’s capital city.

Suleiman, whom the U.S. government accused in 2010 of being a 'drug baron', was kidnapped soon after arriving in the shopping center by three unidentified armed individuals, armed with two AK- 47 assault rifles, and he had no personal protection when the incident occurred, according to the police.

The police have so far released no further information about the kidnapping.

His family has not issued any statement over the kidnapping.

Despite lengthy prison sentences imposed on kidnappers by Mozambican courts over the past, kidnap gangs are continuing to strike in Maputo.

It is the third kidnapping incident happened in the southern African country’s capital city since the past month.

In 2007, Suleiman inaugurated the Maputo Shopping Center in downtown Maputo, which consolidated his position as one of the strongest businessmen in Mozambique.

But his empire got shaken in 2010 when accused as responsible for drug trafficking and money laundry through his companies, though he refused all the allegations.

U.S. President Barack Obama named Suleiman as a drug trafficker in 2010, under the Kingpin Act of 1999, which makes it possible for the U.S. government to impose financial and economic sanctions against foreign drug traffickers.


Mombasa and U.S. security agents arrest 'four top drug suspects'


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