European Union Report Links Kenyan Politicians to Heroin Trafficking
Kenyan politicians have been implicated as being the main obstacles in the fight to cease heroin trafficking in the country.
A European Union-funded report reveals that powerful politicians are the lead traffickers of heroin.
"In Kenya, which one could characterize as a market where there is ‘multi-polar competition,’ drug traffickers have either campaigned directly for political office or are often linked to political interests," reads the report.
[caption caption="Members of Parliament (MP) during a house session"][/caption]
However, no names were given by the researchers who indicated that they interviewed several sources including senior Kenya Defence Forces officers and a veteran seafarer last September for the report.
The report, which shows that heroin trade and use has hit a new peak in Africa, divulged that an estimated 55,000 Kenyans are currently hooked to the drug compared to Tanzania's 32,000.
It also outlines how heroin trade has become embedded in local communities and linked to political elites.
The research states that heroin prevalence and trade in Kenya and countries along the Indian Ocean is aided by weak checks and balances.
Additionally, the report notes that political instability around the Gulf region has pushed the traffickers from using the land route from the drug’s main source, Afghanistan, to using the southern route by sea through South Africa.
The result is that the drug has been readily available in coastal cities that fall on the transit route such as the Kenya coastal region.
The findings mean that the recent developments in combating drugs in the country, including the extradition trafficking suspects and their associates have not been a hindrance.
[caption caption="Police officers displaying drugs caught at the Kenyan coast"][/caption]
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