Wednesday, April 6, 2011

US to open DEA office in Kenya

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will establish a permanent office in Nairobi to help choke local cocaine and heroin trafficking routes.

The decision is informed by the fact that drugs passing through Kenya are consumed in the US.

Besides, the DEA's presence in the country is intended to limit drugs-driven corruption prevalent in Kenya's "law enforcement, Judiciary and political institutions."

The plans are contained in this year's International Narcotics Control Strategy report to guide the US government in achieving its aims.
In the past, DEA activities in Kenya operated under the office in Pretoria, South Africa.

The move comes at a time when the Kenya Police has intensified the war against drugs but is under pressure from powerful barons who want anti-narcotics detectives off their trail.

Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere last week revealed that officers had been threatened by kingpins behind the 102 kgs of heroin worth Sh200 million seized in Mombasa two weeks ago. He said the traffickers tried bribery before resorting to intimidation.

"The principal US counter-narcotics objective in Kenya is to interdict the flow of narcotics to the US. A related objective is to limit the corrosive effects of narcotics-related corruption in law enforcement, the Judiciary, and political institutions," the 2011 strategic report reads.

It adds: "The US seeks to accomplish this objective through law enforcement cooperation, the encouragement of a strong Kenyan government commitment to narcotics interdiction, and the strengthening of Kenyan counter narcotics and overall judicial capabilities."


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