Pubdate: Sun, 13 Feb 2005
Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)
Copyright: 2005 Nation Newspapers
Author: Dominic Wabala


Police have unearthed a syndicate in which prison warders collude with
remand prisoners to smuggle narcotic drugs into the jails.

Six people, including two prison warders, were arrested and five
kilogrammes of bhang that was being ferried into the prison seized.

The suspects had intended to smuggle the bhang into Nairobi's
Industrial Area prison aboard prison trucks on Friday.

The suspects are being held at Kilimani and Kileleshwa police stations
and are likely to be charged in court next week.

Tomorrow, the investigators begin to interrogate the six in the hope
that they will spill the beans on the syndicate and the other suspects
yet to be arrested.

The investigations into the syndicate's operations are being handled
by the CID Anti-Narcotics Unit led by Mr Peter Njeru.

Sources said the smuggling of drugs into prisons with the full
knowledge of warders was widespread.

Once the drugs found their way prison, they would be sold to inmates
by a group of hard-core convicts who then use the proceeds to raise
bail or to pay warders in exchange for favours while in jail.

A young girl, a relative of a prisoner, was among those arrested after
she was found handing the bag containing the bhang to the warders at
the Nairobi law courts basement.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the warders take the bhang
into the prison truck and smuggle it into the prisons where it is
handed over to peddlers in custody. The peddlers then re-package the
bhang into cigarette-like rolls for sale to fellow inmates.

The anti-narcotics detectives are now investigating how drugs can be
smuggled into a prison by inmates who are frequently checked while
coming from court.

Drug use is said to be rampant in Kenyan prisons.

Two weeks ago, three prisoners at the Industrial Area remand prison
were admitted in critical condition to the Kenyatta National Hospital
over what is suspected to have been a drug overdose.

Four years ago, another prisoner at the same facility was found with a
package of cocaine that he had smuggled into the holding cells from
the Nairobi law courts.
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