Police in Juja, Kiambu County have arrested a youthful man who was on Friday afternoon (September 25) caught in possession of 700 kilograms of bhang worth Ksh4 million.
Martin Mungai, 28, was apprehended at his home in Mwereri area in Juja Sub-County by a contingent of police officers, who were alerted by residents that the suspect dealt in bhang business.
“Upon searching his house, the officers managed to recover approximately 700 kilograms of cannabis sativa (bhang) whose street value is Ksh4 million,” says a police report filed at the Juja Farm police post on Friday evening under the OB Number 06/25/9/2020.
Police claim Mungai has been a bhang farmer, and that on the day of the raid, “23 trees of cannabis sativa plant were discovered in his compound”.
Also arrested alongside Mungai were his suspected accomplices, including Henry Shakira, 40 and Musa Abdi, 18. The two are believed to be employees of Mungai, police said.
Authorities claim that two other persons linked to the illegal bhang trade arrived at the scene during the raid and attempted to bribe the OCS of Juja police post, Abiel Mwarania, with Ksh689,000. The two alleged bribe-givers have been identified as 29-year-old Abdi Matayo and 27-year-old Brian Mwanzia.
“The money (Ksh689,000) has been recovered and kept as exhibit,” police said.
The five, Mungai (the main suspect), Shakira, Musa, Matayo and Mwanzia were taken into lawful custody at the Juja Police Station.
“They will appear in court on Monday, September 28,” the report filed at Juja Farm police post indicates.
Bhang use, growing and sale: What the law says
Kenya’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act states that: “Any person who has in his possession any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance shall be guilty of an offence.” This includes cannabis sativa.
According to the law, if the court decides that the offender only had bhang for their own personal use, they may be given a prison sentence of ten years.
Selling cannabis sativa in Kenya is also illegal. If the court decides that the amount of cannabis you have in your possession is for supply (rather than personal use), you could be subject to a prison sentence of 20 years to life.
Growing cannabis is illegal too. It’s against the law to cultivate it, and you must not allow others to cultivate it on your land or in your property. If the police find that you’re involved in cannabis cultivation, you could be liable to a fine of Ksh250,000 or three times the market value of the cannabis, whichever is greater. Alternatively, you may be given a prison sentence (up to 20 years) or both.