Briton on drug charge ‘a victim of cartels’
The London Times reports Marrian, from a prominent family in England, was not involved in the 99kg cocaine trafficking
The Briton accused of trafficking cocaine worth Sh598 million is a victim of drug cartels, a British newspaper has reported.
The London Times interviewed investigators from the US and Spain. It reported that Jack Marrian, 31, is from a prominent family in England and was not involved in drug trafficking, as alleged by the police.
Marrian and a Mombasa based clearing and forwarding agent have been charged with drug trafficking in a Kibera court and are out on a Sh70 million bail.
The British daily reported last week that the 99.7kg of cocaine were des- tined for Spain but were diverted to Kenya, where the police were tipped.
Spanish police said the drugs were loaded in Brazil without the traders’ knowledge, using a smuggling technique called “blind hook” or “rip-on, rip-off”, in which smugglers hide their drugs inside other people’s cargo.
“They do it without the knowledge of the companies transporting these goods. It has been a popular method used by Colombian cartels,” a source in the organised crime unit of the Spanish national police told The Times. According to the paper, the drugs were supposed to be off-loaded in Valencia. That was where the containers changed ships for the second leg of their journey to Salalah, in Oman. There they changed boats again for the final leg to Mombasa.
Melvin Patterson, a spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Agency, said a criminal group based in Valencia tried to get cocaine out of a container, but failed.
Spanish police tried to search the containers on July 29 after spending five days on the dockside. Four of the containers had already been loaded onto the MSC Sonia, including the one with cocaine, the paper said. “We do not have a clear idea of who was waiting for this shipment to arrive in Spain but it was certain that it was heading for Spain, not Kenya,” the Spanish police source added. “For some reason it was not collected at Valencia.”
Briton Jack Marrian at the Kibera law courts on August 5