NAIROBI Kenya, May 2 – A Kenyan and two foreigners have been arrested after a vessel that was found with heroin worth over Sh20 billion by the Australian Navy arrived in Mombasa.
Police in Mombasa said the Kenyan, a Tanzanian and an Asian man were being questioned after the dhow docked at the Old Port, near Fort Jesus.
Reports suggest the vessel was seized by the Australian Navy, the drugs offloaded and the crew let free to sail away.
Port deputy police boss Charity Wangui confirmed the seizure of the boat and the three.
Police officers from the anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism police units cordoned off the area as they inspected the boat for crucial evidence.
The Australian Embassy in Nairobi said the dhow was released before the drugs were destroyed.
On April 28, Australia clarified that the heroin haul seized was not intercepted in Kenyan territory, but in international waters.
The Australian High Commission in Nairobi said HMAS Darwin did not enter Kenyan territorial waters during the operation.
In a statement, the commission further explained that the operation was undertaken by the crew of HMAS Darwin, but it was an international operation under the command of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the UK led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.
“The Australian High Commission wishes to inform the media of the following information relating to the recent seizure by Australian ship HMAS Darwin of 1,032 kilograms of heroin from a dhow on the high seas east of Kenya on 23/24 April 2014: The seizure took place in international waters,” the mission said.
“No Australian asset entered Kenya’s territorial waters; Australia currently has no information that links this incident to Kenya. The reference to Kenya in the Australian media release was to provide background geographical information only.”
The commissions also noted that, “HMAS Darwin is currently deployed on patrol under tasking to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and the UK led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150.”
“The Australian High Commission had no involvement in the operation. This operation was undertaken by the crew of HMAS Darwin, but it was an international operation under the command of the CMF and CTF150.”