Harsh Times: Tricks Bhang Traffickers Use to Beat Police

A road block in Nairobi
Police erect a roadblock on a road in Nairobi on June 2019.

In these harsh economic times, several Kenyans ingeniously crafted new tricks to conceal and transport bhang. 

Cannabis which has an array of street names such as Bhang, Pot, Weed, Shash, The Herb, and Kindukulu, among many others, is prohibited in Kenya. 

However, lawmakers have, in the recent past, joined the clamour to have the drug legalised. 

Due to its high demand, police and the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) listed it as one of the most abused drug in the country. 

The water lorry and bhang that was retrieved from it in Marsabit
The water lorry and bhang that was retrieved from it in Marsabit
K24 Digital

Police crackdowns on highways and raids in warehouses and residential areas detailed crafty ways smugglers use to peddle the drugs. 

Daring smugglers are not afraid to traverse through different entry points in public and private means of transport such as buses, motorcycles (boda bodas), Tuktuks and even animal-driven carts.

Some get past security checkpoints, but the majority usually get nabbed by law enforcers

The Buibui Clad

In June 2019, two women were arrested with four kilograms of bhang in Marsabit on a Nairobi-bound bus.

According to police reports, the women had wrapped the bhang around their bodies underneath their Buibuis. 

The Hidden Tyre Trick

In 2019 police in Samburu intercepted bhang worth Ksh8 million in a lorry that had developed mechanical problems at Kirimon.

Three weeks before this seizure, police in Marsabit had seized five Kilograms of bhang hidden in the tyres of a car travelling from Moyale.

Gas cylinders

As hard as it is to believe, traffickers will jump through hoops to ensure their plans sail through.

Bhang is sometimes stashed inside gas cylinders which are cut and later welded for transport to various destinations.

This unusual trick may sometimes evade police surveillance at roadblocks.

Second-hand clothes

In March 2019, detectives arrested a man with 56 bales of bhang, packed and made to look like second-hand clothes bales. The 'mitumba' loads weighed 466 Kilograms.

A police officer analyses the net worth of bhang seized in Nairobi in 2020

Fuel/Water tankers

A lorry driver was once arrested after he was found transporting 135 bales of bhang from Ethiopia. According to DCI, the narcotics were hidden inside the fuel tank.

The suspect confessed to police, revealing that the law enforcers rarely stop tankers, especially those transporting petrol.

Lawbreakers use such windows to hide their bhang inside the empty tanks.

In the past, fuel and water tankers transporting bhang worth millions were seized by officers attached to various police stations in Nairobi County.

Spare wheels

Seasoned smugglers hide rolls of bhang in vehicle spare wheels or create additional compartments underneath. 

Cement bags

Two men, in February 2022, were intercepted and apprehended in Wajir County for ferrying a consignment of bhang worth Ksh21 million encased in cement bags and transported in a cement-branded lorry.

The duo was sentenced to 50 years behind bars with an alternative of a Ksh63 million fine. 

Under rear seats

A man was arrested in June 2022 hiding a concealed stash of bhang worth Ksh2 million under the rear seats of the vehicle's compartment. 


A new trend has emerged where people transport bhang in food and baked confectionery such as cakes, cookies, muffins and biscuits.

The snacks cost between Ksh100-Ksh200 per piece.

Kenya’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act states, ' Any person who has in his possession any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance shall be guilty of an offence.'

MPs also proposed a Ksh250,000 to Ksh1 million fine for bhang traffickers. 

Police Officers Uprooting Bhang
Police Officers Uprooting Bhang
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