Nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine seized in Kenya, police say

AP News
Posted: Aug 01, 2016 12:24 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Nearly 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of cocaine have been seized at the country's main seaport by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials and police, Kenyan police officials said Monday.

The cocaine was seized from a container delivered by ship from Brazil, said a senior police official who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

A British national and two Kenyans are being questioned, the official said.

The drugs were seized last week in containers supposedly carrying sugar destined for Uganda, officials said.

The seizure was a rare one in Kenya, which the U.N. and the U.S. say has become a cocaine distribution hub in recent years. Traffickers from South America are said to take advantage of Nairobi's extensive air links to Europe and Asia.

Traffickers also exploit Kenya's long Indian Ocean coastline and lack of adequate security controls at the port of Mombasa, the State Department's 2016 drug control strategy report says.

Stemming this flow of drugs is a challenge for Kenyan authorities, the report says. "Drug trafficking organizations take advantage of corruption within the Kenyan government and business community, and proceeds from drug trafficking contribute to the corruption of Kenyan institutions. High-level prosecutions or large seizures remain infrequent."

For more than a decade, Kenya's police have been named annually by the local chapter of the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International as the most corrupt institution in the country.