In an increasingly concerning and persistent trend of illegal drug trafficking, officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were once again put to the test this past Tuesday. Sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have urgently initiated a comprehensive search operation aimed at unmasking the clandestine operators responsible for attempting to smuggle the methamphetamine drug through the airport.
Providing more details in an official communication, the DCI highlighted their collaboration with the globally-renowned International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in a joint effort to hunt down those who are connected to the drug consignment valued at an astounding Ksh9 million.
This particular shipment, which was scheduled for Jakarta in Indonesia, featured an ingenious yet sinister mode of concealment. The methamphetamine was secretly stashed inside bicycle saddles. Elaborating on the detection process, the statement vividly described how astute detectives, specializing in immigration-related crimes and suspicious cargo detection at the JKIA, zeroed in on the DHL storage area for an in-depth verification process. This operation led to the discovery of a series of brown packages which, upon closer inspection, were found to contain a white crystalline substance. Subsequent tests confirmed the worst fears; it was indeed methamphetamine.
What makes this case even more intriguing is the origin of the shipment. The drug consignment, cleverly disguised amidst a variety of items declared as generic bicycle accessories, had originated from Moroni, situated in the island nation of Comoros.
Amidst the gloom of this revelation, the DCI was unequivocal in its stance against the drug menace, emphasizing that Kenya is intensifying its war against the trafficking and abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances. The DCI was assertive in its proclamation, stating that Kenya will consistently remain an unfriendly and unyielding territory for all individuals engaged in these illicit activities, without any consideration of their societal standing or prominence.
It’s crucial to note the alarming rise in incidents involving the smuggling of illegal substances via Kenyan transport hubs in recent times. Interestingly, India appears to be a recurring destination for such nefarious activities. Just a day prior to the methamphetamine interception, a 40-year-old Kenyan woman faced the consequences of her illicit endeavors at Mumbai Airport. In a brazen act, she concealed gold worth Ksh29 million in her undergarments, only to be apprehended while attempting to depart from the facility. The subsequent search led to the recovery of 17 exquisitely melted bars of 22-carat gold. Notably, her identification revealed a passport issued by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with an extended validity up to 2032.
A recent investigative survey conducted by the media outlet Kenyans.co.ke on August 31 underscored the magnitude of the problem. The findings shockingly revealed that contraband worth over Ksh1.2 billion had been seized in 2023 alone, with the bulk of it destined for the bustling Indian black market.