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Cablegate: Nairobi Mini-Dublin Group Views On Kenya

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DE RUEHNR #2550/01 1710545
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200545Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0495

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002550

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SNAR KE
SUBJECT: Nairobi Mini-Dublin Group Views on Kenya


1. (U) SUMMARY: Nairobi Mini-Dublin Group consensus is that
Kenya is increasingly becoming a major transit route for
cocaine and heroin, from South America and Asia, to European
and other Western markets. Corruption, weak law enforcement,
and lack of political will continue to make Kenya an
attractive option to drug traffickers and other organized
criminals associated with them. Traffickers are employing
some new tactics to get their product past customs controls.
END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Nairobi's Mini-Dublin Group convened on June 7 to
discuss the status of counternarcotics efforts in Kenya.
The Nairobi Mini-Dublin Group consists of the European
Commission and the Member States of the EU, the United
States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Norway.

3. (U) BACKGROUND: Kenya?s location between Europe and
South Asia has made it a long and established trading route
between the two regions. This facilitates both the legal and
illegal transportation of goods to Europe and beyond.
Mombasa is a major regional maritime port of entry. Nairobi
is East Africa's main regional hub. Additionally, long and
porous coastal and land borders allow numerous unregulated
crossings.

4. (U) It is estimated that since 2004 cocaine has
overtaken heroin as the main illicit narcotic being
trafficked through Kenya, with quantities being in the
multiple tons per year. European law enforcement agencies
have reported a 10-fold increase in cocaine seizures
originating from the country since early 2005. In 2004, 1.15
tons of cocaine were seized in Kenya; the largest ever-
recorded in Africa. Recent figures have also shown that over
160 kg of cocaine has been seized in 2006 from couriers
traveling by air from Nairobi to a range of European cities,
plus to America and Australia. These courier seizures alone
are estimated to be worth over $10 million USD.

5. (U) In addition, there is increasing evidence of drug
use in Kenya. Authorities are concerned about the
transmission of HIV through the sharing of syringes.

6. (U) A significant number of Kenyan farmers illegally
grow cannabis on a commercial basis for a domestic market.
Law Enforcement officials work with the Kenyan Wildlife
Service to conduct aerial surveys of areas of cultivation.

--------------------------
Kenya?s anti-drug Strategy
--------------------------

7. (U) Kenyan law enforcement agencies rely on the 1994
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act for
enforcement and interdiction activities. Revisions to the
Act on the seizure, analysis and disposal of illegal drugs
were implemented in March 2006. The National Agency for the
Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) has recently been
reformed which is hoped will lead to improvements in their
role in combating drug abuse. NACADA is leading inter-agency
efforts to develop a National Drug Control Strategy for
Kenya.

8. (U) Kenya is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the
1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol and the 1971
UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Kenya is also
party to the UN Corruption Convention and to the UN
Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its
three protocols. Kenya does not have an effective legal
regime to combat money laundering. The Government has no
regulations to freeze or seize criminal accounts and has not
passed a law that specifically outlaws money laundering.

----------------------------
Mini-Dublin Group Assessment
----------------------------

9. (U) The mini-Dublin group assessed that there is little
political will to tackle the growing issue of drugs
trafficking into and through Kenya. This lack of will is
demonstrated by the Government?s unwillingness to act
effectively against grand corruption and dismantle the
culture of impunity that exists to protect the guilty
parties.

10. (U) It is clear that Kenya is increasingly becoming a
major transit route for cocaine and heroin because counter
narcotics law enforcement activities in traditional transit
routes such as West Africa are displacing the trade to less
traditional ones.

11. (U) The dual but linked problems of widespread
corruption and weak law enforcement agencies in the country
has made, and will continue to make, Kenya an attractive
option to drugs traffickers and other organized criminals
associated with them. Corruption specifically allows
organized criminals to operate in a less risky environment,
as they are able to buy both political and law enforcement
protection and influence.

RANNEBERGER

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