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Prominent persons under investigation on drugs might face consequences, US says :: Kenya

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The US government has said it will take action against prominent persons mentioned by the Akasha drug family as having played a role in the narcotic trade.

The US department in charge of drugs and crime said more than 10 persons were under investigation and would face sanctions if found guilty of promoting the illegal trade by allegedly receiving a bribes from the Akasha family.

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Two Akasha brothers were extradited to the US, where they pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. They were said to have named several key personalities in Kenya who played a role in their business.

Yesterday, Kirsten Madison, an assistant secretary covering drugs and crime at the US Department of State, said action would be taken but did not specify the nature of sanctions the suspects would face.

“I can’t speculate on exact measures to put in place. It is a deliberative process,” said Ms Madison while responding on the possible sanction on the suspects.

Madison was speaking during a telephone conference ahead of the upcoming International Society of Substance Use Professionals Global Workshop scheduled for 10-14 next week.

She said corruption was still a force that was hindering the fight against drug trafficking in Kenya but expressed confidence that the vice would be tamed.

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“Corruption is one of the major issues in drugs affecting individuals and organisations. It is a focal point and also an ongoing project in Kenya,” said Madison.

She said although Kenya had a wealth of wildlife, trafficking of animals had turned out to be a profitable trade in criminal organisations.

The official added that the US was investing more than Sh5.5 billion to promote conservation of wildlife as part of its partnership with Kenya.

She said this could be achieved through strategic partnership and strengthening of security operations and defence forces.

Further, Madison said, next week’s event would encourage capacity building to ensure success in the fight against drug abuse and wildlife trafficking.

“We shall connect with stakeholders, including academia, to deliberate on preventive and treatment measures to address the international hazard,” she said.

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