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Police Conduct Largest Drug Raid in Kenyan History


Kenyan police say they have made the largest illegal drug seizure in the country's history. They announced that officers seized up to $65 million worth of a drug believed to be cocaine. The Kenyan government says it is concerned that drug traffickers are increasingly using the country as a transit point.

Police spokesman Jaspher Ombati told VOA police acting on a tip raided a Nairobi warehouse and a home in Malindi late Tuesday.

Mr. Ombati says officers recovered a total of 954 kilograms of a substance believed to be cocaine. He says the drugs came from Colombia and Venezuela, and were heading for Europe.

"Our officers are working hard to make sure that our country is not used as a transit point any more," he said. "The seizure has sent very strong signals to would-be drug traffickers, and I think now they will think twice before choosing Kenya as a transit point."

Mr. Ombati says no one has been arrested in the case, but local television reported that four people were arrested in connection with the raids.

Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua told VOA Tuesday's drug bust underscores worries that the Kenyan government has had for some time about illegal trafficking.

"The Kenyan government is very concerned that Kenya is becoming one of the countries that is being used as a conduit for drugs because of our efficient communications system," he said.

Mr. Mutua says the government is working closely with Interpol, drug enforcement agencies around the world, and other partners to stamp out drug trafficking.

Kenya is one of three African countries where the U.N. International Drug Control Program has offices.

The U.N. program says the Kenyan seaport of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi, are the region's most important transit points for illegal drugs. Although in the current case the drugs are believed to have come from South America, the United Nations says Kenya most often acts as a bridge between Asian nations that produce illegal drugs and consumers in the west.

According to the United Nations, the bulk of illicit drugs arrive in the region by sea, often concealed in shipping containers.

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