State to set up drug testing lab in Mombasa
Equipment shipped in include kits to test for narcotics. Cops, KPA officers trained
The state plans to set up and equip a drug testing lab at the Port of Mombasa, a security agent has said.
The government is installing modern and digitised security surveillance equipment, including CCTVs. Among the equipment already shipped in are kits to test for narcotics. The equipment will be installed at the port and at sea.
US detectives, including those from the Drug Enforcement Administration, are training Kenyan anti-narcotic police officers and KPA security team to operate the new equipment. The training has been going on at the Tamarind Hotel, Mombasa, from Thursday last week.
A Kenyan detective on Monday said the equipment is of high standards. “We believe Kenya is the second country in Africa to have such modernised gadgets. In fact, the robots at the security walls are of their own kind. They do communicate,” the detective said.
A security expert said the equipment is advanced. “The new system is marvelous. It includes tracking and visuals,” security expert Guy Magal said.
Sources told the Star the communication systems at sea have been hacked by well-connected individuals conducting illegal activities, including drug trafficking.
“They can’t beat this system. We know they hacked the communication systems as they did with ICT data systems, leading to the loss of more than 120 transit cargo containers,” he said.
But Kenya Maritime Authority acting director general Cosmas Cherop denied the alleged hacking of the communication systems in the ocean. He said he will follow it up with the authorities.
Head of Anti-Narcotics Unit Hamisi Masa recently released a 21-page report of emerging drug trafficking routes, modes and concealment methods.
This comes months after President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a warning over illegal activities in the Indian Ocean.
In July, officers seized cocaine worth Sh400 million believed to belong to Briton Jack Marrian, the grandson of a British aristocrat. His case is still going on in a Nairobi court.
Two drug vessels – the MV Al Noor and the MV Baby Iris – have also been destroyed under the President’s directive.
In September, Uhuru announced the establishment of a special police unit to deal with corruption and illicit trafficking of cargo and drugs at the Port of Mombasa. He directed IG Joseph Boinnet to set up the independent unit to curb tax evasion, smuggling of contrabands and drugs.
Uhuru accused unscrupulous businessmen of colluding with police, Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Ports Authority officials.
Dennis Were before a Mombasa court yesterday. He was charged with leaking the KCSE exam at Migadini Complex High School, Changamwe, where he was a Knec agent. He denied the charges before magistrate Teresia Matheka and was released on Sh500,000 bond