Lamu, KENYA: Police in Lamu town have seized 214 huge rolls of bhang worth a street value of approximately sh.40,000.
A middle aged man was arrested in possession of the bhang after police conducted a swoop at the Mangrove Terminal Jetty in Lamu on Sunday.
Confirming the incident, Lamu County Police Commander Muchangi Kioi said sh.28,000 believed to be proceeds from the sell of part of the bhang was also recovered from the man.
The bhang was recovered inside a boat shortly after it had been ferried into Lamu town from Mokowe jetty on the mainland.
Police believe the suspect planned to transport the illegal substance to Kizingitini and other far flung islands in Lamu East.
Kioi said the man is in custody but will be arraigned in court on Monday.
This follows intensified efforts by the county administration to tackle drug use and peddling in the region.
“Members of the public tipped us and told us of a huge contingent of bhang that was being ferried over so we laid an ambush in Lamu town at the jetty where we arrested the suspect and recovered the 214 rolls of bhang. We have also confiscated the boat that was being used to ferry the bhang and we believe the owner will help in our investigations. The suspect will be arraigned in court on Monday,” said Kioi.
The police boss acknowledged that drug peddling remains one of the major challenges for police in the region especially in Lamu town, Mpeketoni and Kizingitini in Lamu East.
He however said the crackdown on narcotics remains in force until Lamu is rid of drugs.
Kioi said additional patrols are being made in areas known to be notorious for drugs and called for cooperation from the public.
Police reports indicate that most drugs finding their way into Lamu are actually ferried in by vehicles and boats from other counties.
He said boat operators who take part in the drug trade will be banned from operating in the region and denied licenses.
“The youth here have literally been turned into walking zombies by drugs and we are doing all we can to stop the inflow of drugs into Lamu,” he said.
County Criminal Investigation Commander-CCIC Paul Leting said at least 30 drug peddlers arrested between May and November this year are already serving jail terms for the crime.