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Sh8m cocaine nabbed at JKIA, woman arrested

A Venezuelan national was on Christmas Day arrested with 2.5 kilogrammes of cocaine at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers found two packets of the substance sealed in a false bottom slot of Medina Paez Maria Artmelis’s suitcase.

The suspect will spend two days in cells and is expected in court on Wednesday.

He had arrived at JKIA aboard an Ethiopian Airlines plane from Addis Ababa on a tourist visa.

KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner Julius Musyoki said the substance with a street value of Sh8 million was seized during a routine cargo inspection.

“The attempt by the Venezuelan drug trafficker to smuggle such a sizeable cocaine package we believe was based on a mistaken view that the security agencies guard at the airport would be low,” Mr Musyoki said.

‘RED-ALERT MODE’

“However, we are all operating on a red-alert mode through the festive season and beyond to guarantee national security.”

The operation by KRA officials was done in conjunction with Directorate of Criminal Intelligence, National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Kenya Airports Authority officials.

It is part of an ongoing high alert security management strategy over the festive season and beyond.

The officials said the drug was handed over to Anti-Narcotics Police unit for further investigations.

“Across the national ports of entry, the Kenya Revenue Authority has enhanced its Customs and Border Control capacity following recent investments to ramp up its operating assets,” Mr Musyoki said.