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Mombasa court releases drug suspects on U.S. $330,000 bonds

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan court on Monday released four key suspected drug traffickers on 330,000 U.S. dollars bail each and two sureties of similar amount.

Mombasa High Court judge Justice Martin Muya granted bail to two sons of slain drug baron Ibrahim Akasha and two other suspects who are facing extradition to the U.S. over alleged drug trafficking.

Muya upheld a decision made by his fellow judge Maureen Odero after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) asked for the review of the four being released on bond.

While making his ruling, Muya said the 55,000 dollar bonds granted by the trial magistrate was not strict enough to hold the suspects from absconding court.

"I therefore warrant strict bond terms of 330,000 dollars each with two similar sureties.

"To enable the accused to continue complying with the court proceeding pending their extradition process," Muya ruled.

He also said Bakhtash Akasha Abdalla, Vijaygiri Anandgiri, Gulam Hussein and Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla should report to the investigating officers three days a week.

Justice Muya further directed that the respondents must comply with the conditions given by the trial magistrate’s court of depositing their passports.

On Dec. 1, 2014, Mombasa Chief Magistrate Maxwell Gicheru released the four on a two surety bond of 55,000 dollars each, which was later canceled on that same day after the prosecutor obtained stay orders.

On his application, State Counsel Alexander Muteti told the court that the DPP’S office received the notice that requested Kenya to co-operate by executing a provisional arrest for purpose of extradition.

Muteti told the court that the four are under the Interpol red notice for allegedly engaging in narcotic trade. Muteti told the court that there were compelling reasons to deny the four bond.

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

However Akashas lawyers led by Cliff Ombeta and Wandugu Karathe argued that the extradition proceedings was bailable.

The formal extradition process has already commenced for the four who are wanted in Washington over an international drug cartel after a warrant of arrest was issued against them by a U.S. court over narcotics importation conspiracy charges.

The two Akashas were among four men arrested on Nov. 9, 2014 after months of investigations by Kenyan police and America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

In the U.S. the four are to face trial on allegations of being part of an international drug trafficking ring.

The UN has identified East African nation as a drug transport hub for drugs going to Europe from Asia and Middle East. And traffickers have increasingly become smatter because of improved surveillance at the airports and have now resorted to using roads to reach their intended destinations.
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