Police burn bhang worth Ksh1.5 million
Police in Nyamarambe, Kisii county have burned more than 143 kilograms of bhang with an estimated market value of Ksh1.5 million - the latest in the fight against illicit drug and narcotics trafficking in the county.
Ogembo law courts magistrate Gloriah Barasah, who presided over the incineration ceremony, praised the police, authorities, locals, as well as the judiciary, for the work they have done to enforce the country’s anti-drug law.
She suggested that members of the community play a proactive role in preventing the use of drugs by providing momentous information that helps curb the supply and circulation of drugs in the locale.
“The law provides the framework for combating abuse of narcotics, drugs, and psychotropic substances by issuing several penalties. Persons found to be manufacturing, possessing, or transporting drugs unlawfully risk imprisonment for a term not less than 20 years,” Barasah warned.
The drugs were seized from various raids and operations within Gucha and South Mugirango in the past three years.
The pyre of drugs was lit by the area OCPD Samson Rukunga along with Antony Kiragu, the Criminal Investigation officer on the outskirts of Kisii County at Nyamarambe.
Rukunga explained that drugs are burned after court rulings, noting that sometimes evidence has to be held until a suspect has exhausted the appeal process.
“When a case has not been settled by the courts, exhibits will not be destroyed. There are exceptions made for large quantities of drugs that are too dangerous to store,” he said.
He further expressed concerns about the lack of exhibit stores within police stations, spacious enough to securely store such colossal amounts of exhibits. He, however, is optimistic that the government will provide funds for the construction of the aforesaid.
Drug offences make up a large part of police operations in the region, and officers often seize illegal drugs which are at times pre-packaged. In such cases, Rukunga said the drugs were likely being transported to far-flung but well-known and intended destinations by the drug dealers or were intended to be distributed domestically.
“I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our absolute commitment to the war on drugs and nobody related to the drugs trade will be spared. Legal action shall be initiated against anyone indulging in the drugs trade,” Rukunga asserted.
Drug offenders disappear
Some miscreants who were arraigned in court and released on bail have disappeared in thin air, but the police are up to the task to bring them back to book for their mischievous behaviour.
The area probation officer Elijah Omanga commended the move by the police saying that such safeguarded the well-being of the community.
“The over 143 kilograms of illicit substances that the police have destroyed had the potential to cause massive damage to our communities through violence and long-term health impacts, which disproportionately affect the young and vulnerable,” Omanga said.
He further believes that a multi-sectoral approach towards clamping-down drug menace in the community will make a clean sweep.
He assures whistleblowers of confidentiality. In the event that one provided vital information to the authority about drugs, no harm would occur to such individuals, since their identity will be confined.