A Mombasa court has convicted Iranian and Pakistani foreigners of trafficking Sh1.3 billion worth heroin into the country. The convicts include Mohamed Saleh, Yakoob Ibrahim, Saleem Muhammad, Bhatti Abdulghafour, Baksh Moula and Pak Abdul Ghaffar.
They were charged on July 3, 2014 for trafficking 377.2 kilograms of heroin valued at Sh1,131,672,000 in granule form. They are also charged with trafficking 33,200 liters of heroin worth Sh189 million.
Chief Magistrate, Martha Mutuku, ruled that the prosecution proved that the foreigners were arrested aboard a ship used in trafficking the drugs. Mutuku ruled that the evidence and exhibits provided, placed the foreigners at the center of the crime, making it difficult for them to exonerate themselves.
The Court ruled that the drugs were carefully concealed inside their ship, which took detectives days to discover. She added that the foreign ship crew members “cannot say they do not know the drugs” and dismissed their assertion that the haul was planted to frame them.
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The Court further stated that the destruction of the ship, MV Amin Darya, was inconsequential to the trial since it was done after proper documentation of the scene and seizure and testing of the drug.
She stated that the collection and preservation of evidence which was later produced in court was done satisfactorily and in accordance with the law. The Chief Magistrate also ruled that two government chemist analysts, who tested the drug and confirmed to the court the white substance found inside the ship was heroin.
The Court further ruled that under international law, Kenyan courts have jurisdiction to try foreigners. She concluded that some of the accused persons collaborated with the testimonies of some witnesses that they were arrested while sailing within the country’s territorial waters.
However, the Court is set to sentence the foreigners on February, 22.