, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Security agencies and airlines have raised concerns over the possible existence of a drug trafficking racket at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, used to smuggle them outside and to the country.
In a period of less than a month, 6 people have been arrested either with narcotics or for facilitating the illegal business.
On Thursday, at around 7.45am, detectives acting on intelligence busted two Kenya Airways cabin crew about some 15 minutes to their flight to Cotonou, Benin with a stopover in Lagos, Nigeria.
But how they sneaked the drugs to the tightly secured airport remains a puzzle.
A driver, also working for the airline was also arrested for helping them to carry the luggage, which according to police may not have been screened.
“The driver was used to take the luggage to the plane,” a senior officer involved in the investigations told Capital News.
And according to detectives, the narcotics weighed 21 kilogrammes, with a value of Sh150 million.
The drugs were found wrapped in their hand luggage, about 15 minutes to the departure of the plane.
The airline, through a statement, has promised to co-operate fully with the authorities in, “getting to the bottom of the matter.”
“Kenya Airways adheres to all regulations and laws of Kenya and the countries it operates in. In addition, all members of crew are trained on these regulations and laws and are expected to adhere to them at all times.”
“Kenya Airways remains committed to the integrity of its operation and does not condone any illegal activities by its staff members.”
Earlier in October a police multi-agency team following leads discovered a drug trafficking racket at JKIA involving the staff of Kenya Airways and three were arrested in the swoop.
Two of those arrested, just like in Thursday’s case were Kenya Airways members of the cabin crew while the other person was a driver with Trade Winds, a transportation company.
Detectives recovered 5080.91 grams of heroin, worth Sh15.2 million.
They were arrested at 1 am on the night of October 14.
The drugs were found hidden within the crew restroom of a Kenya Airways plane (Flight KQ 870) destined for Hong-Kong, China.
Police now suspect that some cabin crew officials have been colluding with ‘drug barons’ to secretly sneak illegal drugs out and inside the country.
“We will dismantle the cartel…” the senior officer vowed.
What remains a mystery, even after the arrests, the people who own the drugs have never been identified or arrested.
Suspects involved in the October incident are already in court.