Kenyan arrested over drugs
Published on June 16, 2008, 12:00 am
By James Ratemo and Cyrus Ombati
A Kenyan woman has been arrested in Mauritius in connection with a Sh111.6 million drug syndicate.
The woman, who travelled to Mauritius on Tuesday, was held with six members of a Tanzanian delegation.
The group was in the country to attend the Second African Nations Boxing competition.
According to African Press Agency, Ms Pilisila Wanga Ndiritu and the six Tanzanians were arrested on Thursday night in a hotel in Quatre Bornes, 15km from the capital, Port Louis.
A police superintendent in Mauritius, Mr Dev Ramasawmy, indicated that the suspects were in custody for importing four kilogrammes of heroine in pellet form to the island.
Ramasawmy said the police Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit conducted the operation and that the drugs had a street value of $1.8 million (Sh110 million).
Ramasawmy said local police were tipped that a large quantity of drugs would be brought to Mauritius during the boxing competition.
However, nothing was found on the Tanzanian delegation when it arrived from Nairobi on Tuesday evening.
But the group, which was under surveillance, failed to leave the hotel rooms, leading to suspicion that they had swallowed drug pellets.
On Thursday evening, two members of the delegation emerged with a large bag, which they left behind the hotel.
Ndiritu, who had travelled on the same flight with the Tanzanians, then went to collect it.
Meanwhile, eighteen Kenyans are in police custody in Tanzania for alleged lack of work permits.
According to their relatives in Kenya, Mr Samuel Muriithi, the victims were arrested in a swoop at the weekend.
Muriithi said they would be charged in court today. He appealed to the Kenyan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mr Boaz Baya, to intervene.
He said his relatives had left Kenya last week on a temporary assignment on behalf of a Chinese company.