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US DOSSIER ON KENYA DRUG LORDS

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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A report prepared by the US Department of State details drug trafficking and money laundering activities in Kenya. The report could have formed the basis for the banning of five Kenyans from visiting the United States. The report seen by the Nation says Kenya is not only a significant transit country for cocaine, heroin and hashish, but also a money-laundering hub. “Quantities of heroin and hashish transiting in Kenya, mostly from Southwest Asia bound for Europe and United States have markedly increased in recent years,” the report adds. The International Narcotics Strategy Report, that reviewed 2009 drug trafficking and money laundering in Kenya, blames lack of resources and rampant corruption for the two vices. Kenya’s financial system, the report adds, may be laundering more than Sh80 billion ($100 million) each year, including an undetermined amount of drug money and Somali piracy earnings. It indicates that money laundering continues unabated, despite Parliament passing the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Law, 2009, which was signed by President Kibaki on December 31, 2009. However, the law has not come into force because the Ministry of Finance has not gazetted its commencement date although the Act indicates that such date shall not exceed six months after the date of assent. The failure by the government to gazette the commencement date of the law comes at a time when there is a tug-of-war over the reopening of Charterhouse Bank, which was closed by the government following allegations of money-laundering. US ambassador Michael Ranneberger has opposed reopening of the bank, saying that more than Sh60 billion was lost through financial malpractices.

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