, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 26 – A Venezuelan drug trafficker’s efforts to smuggle a suspected cocaine haul into the country through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was foiled by Kenya Revenue Authority officers on Christmas day.
The officers drawn from KRA’s Customs and Border Control Division seized the two 2.5kg cocaine packages with a Kshs 8million street value during a routine passenger search exercise at JKIA.
Speaking when he confirmed the seizure, KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner, Julius Musyoki said the narcotic substance had been carefully sealed in a false bottom slot on the Venezuelan national’s suitcase.
The Venezuelan national identified as Medina Paez Maria Artmelis had arrived at JKIA aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa on a tourist Visa.
The swift seizure by the KRA officials in conjunction with an inter-agency security team comprising of the Directorate of Criminal Intelligence, National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Kenya Airports Authority officials is part of an ongoing high alert security management strategy over the festive season and beyond.
“The attempt by the Venezuelan drug trafficker to smuggle such a sizeable cocaine package we believe was based on a mistaken view that the security agencies guard at the airport would be low. However, we are all operating on a red alert mode through the festive season and beyond to guarantee national security,” Musyoki said.
The 2.5Kgs package seized from the Venezuelan national has been handed over to the Anti-Narcotics Police unit for further investigations with the suspect expected in court Wednesday.
Across the national ports of entry, The Kenya Revenue Authority has enhanced its Customs and Border Control capacity following recent investments to ramp up its operating assets.
As part of the KRA transformation strategy spearheaded by KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini, the Authority is gearing up to play the role of the lead border control agency with complete electronic control of all goods entering and exiting Kenya.