Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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War on drugs and organised crimes intensified

The  government has deployed special police units in Isiolo County and its environs, to deal with drug and human trafficking, contraband goods and organised crimes.

The  Anti-Narcotics and Anti-Terror Police Units  will also look into menaces such as recruitment of local youths into outlawed terror groups like Al Shabaab.

These  elite squads  arrived in Isiolo on Sunday led by Senior Assistant Inspector General, John Gachomo  who heads the National Anti-Terror Police Unit, and were received by  the County Commissioner (CC), Herman Shambi and the County Police Commander, Joseph Kigen.

Gachomo said that the team will be based in Merti, Garbatula and Isiolo Sub counties, with a clear intention to decisively eradicate the cartels using those routes to smuggle drugs and human trafficking.

He  said the main task targets criminals believed to have links in the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Somalia where the drugs and contraband mostly come from, with Isiolo turning out to be a major player in distribution of bhang and other narcotics to other parts of the Country especially Nairobi.

The County has been hit by incidents of seizure of consignments of bhang worth millions in the area while other illegal deliveries found in other counties enroute to Nairobi from Isiolo.

Gachomo  appealed to members of public to volunteer vital information to help in arrest of suspects in the war on drugs and other organised crimes, assuring them that information received will be treated with the necessary confidentiality.

The  CC said that the team will work in collaboration with security teams in neighbouring counties of  Wajir, Marsabit, Garissa and Meru in order to ensure that the crimes are reduced in the entire region.

Shambi  also called for cooperation among members of the public in terms of sharing information with security officials, noting that the volunteered information will be safeguarded.

He  asked residents who could be afraid of victimisation to volunteer information by calling 988, a number that conceals the identity of the informant.

The  CC  said that the drug consignments nabbed in Isiolo in the recent past will be destroyed in an open ground once investigations are completed and a court order to undertake the exercise obtained.

Meanwhile, suspected armed bandits  on Monday evening shot and killed four youths at Songa-Badasa junction in Songa location, Marsabit Central Sub-County.

The youth who were going home to Songa from Marsabit town, all riding on one motorcycle were attacked at Badasa water point at around 6pm by unknown people who were armed with guns.

The victims of the attack that has shocked Marsabit county residents, included three male and a female aged between 17 and 25 years.

The Songa location Chief, Abdi Dera said the assailants who disappeared into Mt. Marsabit forest left the motorcycle and the bullet riddled bodies at the scene.

The motive of the killings could not be immediately established but police have instituted investigations into the incident.

The  Marsabit Central Sub County Police Commander, Benjamin Mwanthi said a contingent of security officers was dispatched to the area to hunt down the suspected criminals.

The  Lewa Down Conservancy management has provided sniffer dogs support to help in hunting down the attackers.

The incident comes in the wake of a sustained illicit firearm mop up operation by the government in the county.

The bodies of the deceased were removed to Marsabit referral hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.

By  David  Nduro/Sebastian  Miriti

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