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Kenya: Ton of cocaine incinerated, UN-backed op.

Ton of cocaine incinerated in UN-backed operation in Kenya

Some $90 million worth of cocaine went up in smoke in Nairobi, Kenya, today in a United-Nations back incineration that underlined the world body's major role in combating the global illicit drug trade.

More than a ton of cocaine, seized in December, 2004, in a resort town along the coast, was placed inside furnaces located at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in an exercise designed to dispel rumours that part of the haul had been illegally diverted.

It was witnessed by UN and Government officials, senior police officers, members of the diplomatic community and scores of international and local journalists. Also present were the suspects charged with trafficking.

The UN, through UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regional representative Carsten Hyttel, played a significant role in ensuring that the narcotics were destroyed. UNODC was part of the team that planned the verification, testing and destruction, while providing legal assistance in drafting regulations on the seizure, analysis and disposal of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

UNODC also provided technical guidance aimed at ensuring that the testing and destruction of the seizures were carried out in line with international standards.

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