Cablegate: Kenya: 2006 International Narcotics Control And


DE RUEHNR #4740/01 3071233
O 031233Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 154898

B. STATE 147534

I. Summary

1. Kenya is significant transit country for cocaine and
heroin bound for Europe, and, increasingly the United States.
The seizure of more than one ton of cocaine in December 2004
raises concerns that international drug trafficking rings
have made inroads in Kenya and may benefit from a climate of
official corruption which allows them to operate with near
impunity. Heroin and hashish transiting Kenya, mostly from
Southwest Asia bound for Europe and North America, have
markedly increased in quality in recent years and are
destined increasingly for North America, even as the overall
transit volume is believed to have declined. There is a
growing domestic heroin and cocaine market and use of
cannabis or marijuana is becoming more widespread,
particularly on the coast and in Nairobi. Although
government officials profess strong support for
anti-narcotics efforts, the overall program suffers from a
lack of resources and corruption at various levels. Kenya is
a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

II. Status of Country

2. Kenya is a significant transit country for cocaine and
heroin and a minor producer of cannabis. It is believed that
Kenya is becoming an increasingly significant transit country
for multi-ton shipments of cocaine from South America
destined for European and African consumers; however, cocaine
seizures have only modestly increased over 2005 following a
dramatic spike in 2004. Kenya's sea and air transportation
infrastructure, and the network of commercial and family ties
that link some Kenyans to Southwest Asia, make Kenya a
significant transit country for Southwest Asian heroin and
hashish. Although it is impossible to quantify exactly,
officials believe that the United States is at least as
significant as Europe as a destination for heroin transiting
Kenya. Cannabis or marijuana is produced in commercial
quantities primarily for the domestic market (including use
by some elements among the large number of tourists
vacationing in Kenya). While it is believed that small
quantities of cannabis may be bound for export, there is no
evidence of its impact on the United States.

3. Kenya does not produce significant quantities of
precursor chemicals.

III. Country Actions Against Drugs

4. Policy Initiatives: Counter-narcotics agencies, notably
the Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) within the Kenyan Police
Service, continue to depend on the 1994 Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances Act for enforcement measures and
interdiction guidelines. Revisions to the Narcotics Act on
the seizure, analysis, and disposal of narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances drafted by the government of Kenya
and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in
2005 were finally implemented in March 2006, thus correcting
the Act,s major weakness in its ambiguity and
inconsistencies in the area of drug seizure, analysis, and

5. The National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse
(NACADA), the quasi-governmental organization charged with
combating drug abuse in Kenya, has recently undergone
significant reform to its governing structures and
mechanisms, including the appointment of a new director and
the creation of a board of directors. These changes are
widely viewed as improvements which will lead to enhanced
efficacy in the pursuit of its mandate. NACADA is leading
recent inter-agency efforts to develop a National Drug
Control Strategy for Kenya.

6. In September, the 16th meeting of the Heads of National
Drug Law Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA) in Africa was held in
Nairobi. The HONLEA meeting brought together heads of law
enforcement agencies from across Africa with representatives
of international drug law enforcement agencies and UNODC
experts. The heads shared information on illicit trafficking
of cocaine in Africa, cannabis cultivation, and effective
control of precursor chemicals. Although these countries
meet annually to discuss relevant issues, it is unknown how
effectively and enthusiastically they cooperate on a
day-to-day basis.

7. Kenya has no crop substitution or alternative development
initiatives for progressive elimination of the cultivation of

narcotics. The ANU remains the focus of Kenyan
anti-narcotics efforts.

8. As a result of UNODC and bilateral training programs, the
ANU and the Kenyan Customs Service now have a cadre of
officers proficient in profiling and searching suspected drug
couriers and containers at airports and seaports. Airport
profiling has yielded good results for couriers but not major
traffickers. Seaport profiling has proven difficult.
Despite the official estimate that a significant portion of
the narcotics trafficked through Kenya originates on
international sea vessels, ANU maritime interdiction
capabilities remain virtually nonexistent. Personnel
turnover at the ports is high and Kenya currently has limited
maritime interdiction capability (see para 19). Corruption
continues to thwart the success of long-term port security
training. Lack of resources, a problem throughout the Kenyan
police force, significantly reduces the ANU's operational
effectiveness (see para 13).

9. Law Enforcement Efforts: Seizures of heroin and cannabis
(and its derivatives) continued to decline from 2005 levels,
while seizures of cocaine increased over 2005. Kenya seized
almost 17 kilograms of heroin in 2006, a 14 kilogram decrease
from the quantities seized in 2005 (all statistics on drug
seizures in this section reflect the period from January to
September 2006 as provided by the ANU), and arrested 76
people on heroin-related charges. The ANU concentrates its
anti-heroin operations at Kenya's two main international
airports. There was a sharp decrease in cannabis seizures
for 2006. Kenyan authorities seized 5,144 kilograms of
cannabis and its derivatives in 2006 and arrested 2,584
suspects, down from 50,844 kilograms seized in 2005. The ANU
was unable to provide information on cannabis crop
cultivation and eradication efforts in 2006 in time for
inclusion in this report. The ANU continued to operate
roadblocks for domestic drug trafficking interdiction and is
pursuing a variety of policy initiatives for more effective
coordination with other government agencies. Weak laws, an
ineffective and inefficient criminal justice system and
widespread corruption are the main impediments to an
effective counter-narcotics strategy for Kenya.

10. Seizures of cocaine and arrests for cocaine trafficking
increased. Kenya seized 23 kilograms of cocaine in 2006 and
made 6 arrests, compared to 10 kilograms seized in 2005.
Despite the high profile December 2004 record seizure of 1.1
tons of cocaine, Kenya has to date only achieved one
successful prosecution related to the case. All but one of
the seven defendants accused of trafficking the one-ton plus
cocaine shipment seized in Malindi in 2004 were acquitted due
to lack of evidence. One defendant, brother to another
suspect held by Dutch authorities in connection to the case,
was found guilty of drug trafficking in June and sentenced to
thirty years imprisonment and fined approximately USD
274,000,000. He is the only suspect to be convicted in
connection with the seized drugs. It is generally agreed
that "smaller fish" were arrested in connection with the
case, while the principal culprits responsible for
trafficking the cocaine to Kenya remain at large. With the
assistance of U.S., U.K., and UNODC experts, Kenya finally
tested and destroyed the one-ton cocaine seizure in March of
this year. Tests results allayed concerns that the integrity
of the one ton cocaine seizure and those charged with its
protection during its 15 months in GOK custody had been

11. Corruption: As a matter of government policy, Kenya does
not encourage nor facilitate the illicit production or
distribution of narcotic or psychotropic substances, or the
laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.
However, official corruption remains a significant barrier to
effective narcotics enforcement at both the prosecutorial and
law enforcement level. Despite Kenya's strict narcotics laws
that encompass most forms of narcotics-related corruption,
reports continue to link public officials with narcotics
trafficking. The December 2004 cocaine seizure has
heightened public concern that international drug trafficking
rings enjoy protection by high-level officials for their
activities in Kenya. The failure to achieve significant
success in the disruption of drug traffickers networks
through arrest and prosecution of those responsible for
trafficking the one ton of cocaine raises questions about the
ability or willingness of legal and law enforcement
authorities to combat drug trafficking (see para 10). The
December 31, 2005 murder of the lead police officer
investigating the theft of shipping containers, possibly in
connection with a drug trafficking ring, illustrates the
challenges facing authorities in interdicting drug

trafficking through the Port of Mombasa. The murdered
officer was killed after reportedly refusing substantial
bribe offers. Eleven months on, his murder is still under
investigation. As in previous years, airport and airline
collusion and outright involvement with narcotics traffickers
continued to occur in the year covered by this report.

12. Agreements and Treaties: Kenya is a party to the 1988 UN
Drug Convention, which it implemented in 1994 with the
enactment of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
Control Act. Kenya is also a party to the 1961 UN Single
Convention and its 1972 Protocol. Kenya's National Assembly
ratified the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances in
2000. The 1931 U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty remains in force
between the United States and Kenya through a 1965 exchange
of notes.

13. Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda established a protocol to
enhance regional anti-narcotics cooperation in 2001.

14. Cultivation and Production: A significant number of
Kenyan farmers illegally grow cannabis on a commercial basis
for the domestic market. Fairly large-scale cannabis
cultivation occurs in the Lake Victoria basin, in the central
highlands around Mt. Kenya, and along the coast. Officials
continue to conduct aerial surveys to identify significant
cannabis-producing areas in cooperation with the Kenya
Wildlife Service. However, according to ANU officials,
farmers are increasingly savvy about how to shield their
crops from aerial detection and difficult terrain hampers
eradication efforts. The ANU was unable to provide
statistics on the success of their crop eradication efforts
in time for inclusion in this report. INL did not provide
funding for the application of aerial herbicides in 2006, and
no aerial eradication efforts were undertaken.

15. Drug Flow and Transit: Kenya is strategically located
along a major transit route between Southwest Asian producers
of heroin and markets in Europe and North America. (See para
2.) Heroin normally transits Kenya by air, carried by
individual couriers. A string of cocaine and heroin seizures
at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) this past
spring (most from flights originating in West Africa)
highlights the continuing drug trafficking problem in Kenya.
While the arrests of mules may alert trafficking syndicates
that enhanced profiling measures and counter-narcotics
efforts make JKIA an increasingly inconvenient entry/exit
point for drugs, the arrests have achieved little in the way
of assisting authorities to identify the individuals behind
the drug trafficking networks. ANU officials continued to
intercept couriers transiting land routes from Uganda and
Tanzania, where it is believed the drugs arrive via air
routes. The increased use of land routes demonstrates, in
the minds of ANU officials, that traffickers have noted the
increase in security and narcotics checks at JKIA. Postal
and commercial courier services are also used for narcotics
shipments through Kenya. There is evidence that poor
policing along the East African coast makes this region
attractive to maritime smugglers (see para 2).

16. Officials have never identified any clandestine
airstrips in Kenya used for drug deliveries and believe that
no such airstrips exist.

17. Domestic Programs and Demand Reduction: The National
Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) continues to combat drug
abuse, although the quasi-governmental organization's budget
remains negligible. Recognizing the dearth of reliable
statistics on drug abuse in Kenyan, NACADA is developing
plans to conduct a comprehensive survey of the problem in
2007. Kenya continues to make progress in efforts to
institute programs for demand reduction. Illegal cannabis
and legal khat are the domestic drugs of choice. Heroin
abuse is generally limited to members of the economic elite
and a slightly broader range of users on the coast.
Academics and rehabilitation clinic staff argue that heroin
use in Nairobi and along the coast has grown exponentially in
the past few years. Cocaine use is also expanding in urban
centers. Solvent abuse is widespread (and highly visible)
among street children in Nairobi and other urban centers.
Demand reduction efforts have largely been limited to
publicity campaigns sponsored by private donors and a UNODC
project to bring anti-drug education into the schools.
NACADA continues to pursue demand reduction efforts via
national public education programs on drug abuse. In 2006,
NACADA provided e-training on drug awareness to school
teachers throughout Kenya. Churches, mosques, and
non-governmental organizations provide limited rehabilitation
and treatment programs for heroin addicts and

solvent-addicted street children. With the support of USAID,
the Ministry of Health has developed two rehabilitation and
drug abuse treatment facilities in Nairobi and Mombasa.

IV. US Policy Initiatives and Programs

18. U.S. Policy Initiatives: The principal U.S.
anti-narcotics objective in Kenya is to interdict the flow of
narcotics to the United States. A related objective is to
limit the corrosive effects of narcotics-related corruption
in law enforcement, the judiciary, and political
institutions, which has created an environment of impunity
for well-connected traffickers. We seek to accomplish this
objective through law enforcement cooperation, the
encouragement of a strong Kenyan government commitment to
narcotics interdiction, and strengthening Kenyan
anti-narcotics and overall judicial capabilities.

19. Bilateral Cooperation and Accomplishments: There was a
modest expansion of USG bilateral cooperation with Kenya and
surrounding countries on anti-narcotics matters in 2006. The
recent donation by ATA to the government of Kenya (GOK) of
four boats (coupled with training) will enable GOK
multi-agency shallow water patrols along Kenya's coastline,
which should significantly improve the capacity of the GOK to
patrol and secure Kenya's coastal waters and assist drug
interdiction efforts on the coast. ATA is also assisting
with building Kenya's capacity to patrol points of entry to
and in the Port of Mombasa by providing training,
refurbishing existing patrol boats, and providing two small
new boats. USAID provides support to projects to develop
addiction treatment services to heroin addicts in Nairobi and
on the Kenyan coast. Additionally, a DOD-funded drug abuse
awareness campaign raised public awareness of the growing
rates of drug addiction in the coastal region.

20. The Road Ahead: The USG will continue to take advantage
of its good relations with Kenyan law enforcement to build
professionalism, operational capacity, and information
sharing. USG will actively seek ways to maximize
anti-narcotics efforts both in Kenya and throughout East
Africa. Perhaps most significantly, we will work with local,
regional, and international partners to better understand and
combat the flow of international narcotics through Kenya. We
also plan to continue to expand our public awareness outreach
to assist demand reduction efforts in Kenya.

V. Chemical Control

21. The production of precursor chemicals in Kenya is
believed to be minimal or nonexistent. Officials beleive
that it is likely that some volume of precursor chemicals are
imported and possibly transited through Kenya. However,
volume estimates are unavailable, as Kenya does not yet have
sufficient precursor chemicals control regulations in place.
Since 2000, UNODC has implemented a project focusing on
illicit drug control in East Africa. Under this project,
UNODC worked closely with the Kenyan National Drug Regulatory
Authority in establishing a Precursor Control Steering
Committee in 2005. Additionally, UNODC provided assistance
to the Kenyan government to enhance Kenyan precursor control
legislation to conform with the three international narcotics
control conventions ratified by the government of Kenya.
However, like other legislative reforms, that draft
legislation has not been submitted to Parliament, much less
signed into law or implemented. It is unlikely to come under
consideration in 2007.

© Scoop Media

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