US assisting Kenya in drugs probe

February 18, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Kenya has sought the assistance of detectives from America to help investigate the illicit drugs trade in the country.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger told Capital News that the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) was already assisting Kenya in the investigation.

"The government has asked for support from the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US and we are providing that support," he said.

Mr Ranneberger said America was willing to assist Kenya thoroughly investigate the drug menace in but warned that the investigations were complex and may take a long period of time.

"Drug investigations take a long time to be carried out. They are very complex… so these investigations will be ongoing for quite some time," he cautioned.

In an interview with Capital News, Mr Ranneberger said the report presented to Parliament by Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti was interim, because of the complexity of drugs investigations.

"That report is preliminary because of the complexity of the investigations, it is not the sort of investigations that can take a short period of time," he added.

Mr Ranneberger also laughed off claims by his neighbour Juja MP William Kabogo who told Parliament that the envoy had been spying on him by sending guards to his home.

"Obviously that is ridiculous," he said amid prolonged laughter.

In the report presented in Parliament on Thursday, detectives concluded that the Kenyan police lacked the capacity to investigate drug trafficking and its related activities in the country.

A team detailed to comprehensively investigate and unmask drug barons and their activities in the country concluded that the Kenya police could only undertake such investigations after establishing a strong intelligence network base.

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

"The police will require a longer period of 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 eleven 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.

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