A Tanzanian national, identified as Maimuna Jumanne Amir, was handed a 45-year prison sentence for drug possession and trafficking by a Mombasa court.
Mombasa Law Courts Principal Magistrate Martin Rabera delivered the verdict sentencing Maimuna to 35 years in prison for drug trafficking, coupled with an additional 10 years for drug possession.
The ten-year sentence carries an alternative fine of Ksh.48 million according to the judgment.
“The accused was fined Ksh.48,501,000 (three times the value of the drugs in her possession), in default, served 10 years in prison for the offence of trafficking in narcotic drugs, contrary to Section 4(a) of the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act No. 4 of 1994,” stated the ODPP in their statement.
“She was also sentenced to 35 years in prison,” added the statement.
Maimuna Amir was arrested at Moi International Airport in March 2021 with 5,389 grams of heroin valued at Ksh16,167,000.
Amir who is said to have committed the crime jointly with others concealed the narcotics in a black bag, as revealed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
Court Reveals Other Suspects Involved
“The accused committed the offence jointly with others not before the court, on 14th March 2021 at Moi International Airport in Changamwe Sub- County within Mombasa County,” noted EACC.
In his judgment, Rabera declared that the prosecution, effectively substantiated its case to the legal standard.
The court further highlighted the testimony of 16 prosecution witnesses, whose consistent accounts placed the accused at the scene of the crime.
As such, the court concluded that the accused failed to absolve herself of the charges, leaving the court with no alternative but to convict and sentence her in accordance with the law.
The Kenyan Heroin Trade
In 2019, the former European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue, disclosed that the Kenyan port of Mombasa played a significant role contributing to 30% of the illegal heroin smuggled into the EU market.
Likewise, the majority of heroin in the country is traced back to Afghanistan, transported through the Indian Ocean, while cocaine predominantly originates from South America.
Kenyan and Tanzanian citizens have played a substantial role in the formation of a local heroin market according to the research.
In a research journal titled “Review of African Political Economy” former stowaway and heroin dealer from Mombasa detailed how migration from East Africa has facilitated the development of transnational smuggling links within the region.
“The first people that brought drugs to Kenya are from Tanzania. Most of them were stowaways, they could not afford a ticket, but they used to sail on board of ship. There was this kingpin in Peshawar, he used us, the black people, to sell,” the former dealer narrates.
He further notes that they smuggled drugs to different countries within the East African region for money.
Also, he explains how many got addicted to drugs by using a few times.
“You smoke once, twice, three times, the fourth time you are addicted, you are already addicts,” he added.