Mombasa County Police Commander Johnstone Ipara said 29 suspected drug peddlers have been apprehended in a renewed fight against narcotics in the port city.
The arrests come just after Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i promised to dismantle hard drugs cartels, which he said were responsible for surging crime rates in the region.
In an interview with People Daily, Ipara said the suspects were found in possession of sachets of heroin, smart phones believed to have been stolen, and crude weapons.
“Following the crackdown in several parts of Kisauni, we have managed to arrest 29 suspects we believe are part of the drugs network in the region. Out of these one was in possession of 29 sachets of heroin, another one had 12 sachets and the third 12g of the same drug. We also confiscated stolen phones and crude weapons we believe they have been using to carry out attacks on innocent civilians,” he said.
On Sunday, after chairing a three-hour high-profile security meeting in Mombasa, Matiang’i said the renewed war on drugs “is going to be a painful exercise”.
The CS, who was accompanied by Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, noted there was a close link between drug peddling in Mombasa and the surging wave of violent crime.
“There are some political leaders, who under the guise of political mobilisation are beginning to reinvent and revive certain gangs,” he said.
As part of his radical move to curb insecurity in Kisauni, Matiang’i opened police posts in Junda and Concodia areas, which have affected by rising insecurity.
Drug trafficking has remained a serious problem in the coastal region. The United Nations office on drugs and crime has cited Mombasa as a major conduit for hard drugs such as cocaine from Asia and South America to Europe as well as other contraband goods.