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 Star (Kenya) - - News - STAR RE­PORTER @TheS­tarKenya

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.”

/ JACK OWUOR

Bri­ton Jack Mar­rian at the Kib­era law courts on Au­gust 5

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