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Mombasa MCA arrested over drug trafficking freed, application for further detention rejected

Salama (in rounded skullcap) accompanied by a group of supporters outside the Mombasa Law Courts on Tuesday, August 13,2019/CFM

MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 13 – A Mombasa Member of County Assembly (MCA) arrested on Monday in connection with drug trafficking has been freed after a magistrate court declined the prosecution’s request to have him held for three more days pending conclusion of investigations.

Ahmed Salama, the MCA of Likoni’s Bofu Ward, was among 17 people arrested since the national government launched a crackdown on the narcotics trade in the coastal city on Sunday.

The officers wanted to continue holding Salama at the Port Police Station.

Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni held that the suspect had cooperated with the authorities since his arrest and that he was not a flight risk.

Kagoni released Salama saying that he has proven to be cooperative and no evidence to link him up to the charges pressed against him.

“The houses were searched. The police have also confirmed that they did not get any evidence, this therefore means that the suspect will not interfere with the crime scene. I therefore order his release, but he should avail himself to the investigative officer if asked to,” said Kagoni.

Lawyer Yusuf Abubakar, who was representing the suspect, faulted the police officers for continuing to hold his client even after concluding their investigations.

Abubakar said the detectives had searched two of Salama’s houses and found no evidence or drugs as alleged by the police.

“The Investigation Officer confirmed that indeed they searched my client’s houses and did not get any evidence linking him to narcotics,” said Abubakar.

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He said his client was first summoned to the Likoni Police Station before he was arrested.

Thereafter, police officers went and searched his houses and failed to get any evidence.

“This therefore means that my client is cooperative. He is willing to continue cooperating with the police,” he added.

The MCA’s release comes hours after police arrested three foreigners in the house of Mombasa tycoon Ali Punjani in an ongoing raid in search for narcotics.

The three suspects, two Nepalese and an Indian were found inside the house of Punjani, which has been under police guard since Sunday.

Punjani is hospitalized in Indian where he is undergoing treatment for a heart-related condition.

A 24-year-old Nepalese woman identified Karki Sushmija, who was among the people three arrested at Punjani’s residence on Tuesday, claimed she was a wife to Punjani.

Shiva Bashyal, also a Nepalese, said he was a cousin to Shushmija while the last suspect, Ram Manoj, an Indian, said he was a friend to Punjani’s family.

Police were still combing through the seven-bedroom house in Nyali in search of drugs by the time of going to press.

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