Police lack capacity to probe drugs trade

February 15, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Kenyan police now say they lack the capacity to effectively investigate drug trafficking and any related illegal activities in the country.

A report by a team detailed to probe claims made against individuals suspected of involvement in the illicit drugs trade concluded that the Kenya police can only undertake such investigations after establishing a strong intelligence network base.

The report is however, silent on how long the Kenya police will take to establish such a network.

"The police will require a longer time and intelligence network so as to be able to get meaningful evidence against drug traffickers due to the complexity of the investigations," the report prepared by a team of 11 detectives led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Alfred Ombaba states in part.

The team was appointed by Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere with specific terms of reference to unearth drug trafficking in Kenya, unearth drug trafficking syndicates/barons and to gather sustainable evidence that can sustain charges before a court of law.

After nearly three months of investigations, the team has now filed a report to the Police Commissioner saying it has no evidence to charge any of those implicated in drug trafficking.

"Great effort was made by the team in the course of conducting the investigations. However, it still proved elusive to secure sustainable evidence with which to, prosecute any of the subjects under investigations," the report dated February 1, this year states.

"It was quite unfortunate that even those who made the loudest "noise" had nothing to offer in terms of giving information of evidential value," it concludes.

"All they could say was that the government knows them.  They are well known and they have the names, yet they want to see blood spilled especially after the names were given in Parliament," it states.

The report states investigators had in their course of probe interviewed a number of subjects "in relation to allegations and suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking."

Some of those interrogated are named in a dossier provided to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) by American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger.

The document was later handed over to Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere who formed the team to carry out the probe.

The interim report is due to be tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

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