by Chris Mgidu and
Joy Nabukewa MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenyan authorities have begun the process of extraditing four
suspected drug traffickers to face charges in U.S. as the east
African nation increased its surveillance to curb the vice.
The move follows a directive by a Mombasa court late Thursday
which gave the authorities 17 days to process the extradition of
Baktash and Ibrahim Abdalla Akasha, Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami
and Kulam Hussein who were found in possession of 98 packets of
Mombasa Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru also ordered
that the four suspects, who are also linked to 343 kg
heroine worth 14.4 million U.S. dollars that was destroyed
in a ship in September, be detained in police custody until
Dec. 1 when the case will be mentioned.
Gicheru declined an application by defence lawyer,
Gikandi Ngibuini, who sought orders to restrain the
government from extraditing the suspects to America
"I have the powers to issue a warrant of arrest.
"Compelling reasons have been shown by the prosecution
for why they should not be released on bond," Gicheru ruled.
He said Kenya has a duty to cooperate with other countries in
the fight against international crimes, particularly those
touching on drugs.
"The offense is very serious.
"There is no conflict between Kenya and U.S. laws.
"They have not been charged with any offense and it is
still provisional warrant of arrest," the magistrate said.
Ngibuini had expressed his dissatisfaction at the one manner
in which one of the suspects was moved to Nairobi without the
knowledge of the court.
"This situation is too delicate and we want the court to
"How did the suspect leave a police cell without an
order?" Ngibuini decried, noting that the suspects should be
accompanied by their lawyers during any interrogation.
Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti
wanted the suspects remanded for 21 days.
However, the court said they should instead be held for 17
days considering they had already been in cells for three days.
The two Akashas were among four men arrested last Sunday
night after months of investigations by Kenyan police and the
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The two other suspects are Indian Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami
and Pakistani Kulam Hussein Shabakash.
In the U.S. the four are to face trial on allegations of
being part of an international drug trafficking ring.
Gicheru’s order follows an application by the U.S through
the Foreign Affairs ministry and the office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions for the release of the four to
The UN has identified the East African nation as a transport
hub for drugs going to Europe from Asia and the Middle East.
Hardly a week passes without an arrest of drug traffickers at
the main airport.
Traffickers have increasingly been using roads to reach their
intended destinations become of improved surveillance at the
Analysts say drug trafficking is also a threat to political
stability in Eastern Africa region because beneficiaries can use
the illicit money to influence government decision or support
insurgent groups to fight legitimate governments.
The money can also be used for crimes like money laundering
that can disrupt national financial system.
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