In July Heroin valued at close to Sh1.8 billion was discovered in a merchant ship impounded by the Kenya Navy at the Mombasa port. Anti-narcotics officers in Mombasa seized the 342.67 kg of the hard drugs from a suspicious ship, MV Alnoor (B.Bushehr Amin Darya).
A Mombasa court later allowed an application filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, that an order be issued for the destruction of the drugs due to what he termed as storage and security concerns.
A Mombasa politician, Mr Maur Bwanamaka , two businessmen and nine Pakistanis were accused to be behind the shipping of these drugs. It is alleged that the accused were trafficking the drugs through cargo ship mv Amin Darya also known as Al Noor.
Today, president Uhuru Kenyatta will be leading security agencies in destroying a ship.
Through a facebook post on his wall, the president said the government does not care who owns the ship or the drugs. ''we will destroy them to serve as a lesson to those bent on ruining our children. We will not allow drug barons to destroy the future of our young people. We will track and deal with them decisively'' he posted.
Some good news there, right? but still the question remains, has the port of Mombasa become a passage for the importation of illicit drugs? Have drug traffickers turned East Africa, specifically the port of Mombas into hub?
The UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report 2013 details how Kenya and Tanzania are becoming major transit points for drugs as number of drug users also increase. The report confirms Kenya as a transit point for heroin trafficked to Europe and the US.
So how do these drugs enter the country? according to the report, most of It is entered Kenya by sea and air and then re-exported to other markets, either directly to Europe or via West Africa.
As the president leads the destruction, he should know we still have a long way to go.