How Mombasa is not winning the war against heroin

The UN report shows smugglers are getting braver

Kenya continues to grow as a transit point for the trafficking of Afghan heroin according to the 2017 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Cocaine (UNODC).

East Africa's economic powerhouse is along what has been popularly labelled as the " Southern Route ", spanning from Afghanistan to India and Pakistan. From there the drugs are then transited to Kenya and Tanzania before its final destination of Nigeria and Europe.

The popularity of the Kenyan route is based on its almost nonexistent enforcement of maritime law, a lack of inter country co-operation and poor socio-economic circumstances.

The port of Mombasa has proven to be a popular destination with an even more worrying trend being the increased local consumption of the opiates, with the UNODC  estimating about 2.5 tonnes of product being consumed annualy.

Earlier this year, representatives from the Triangular Initiative (TI) countries - Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan - recently got together for the first time with representatives from Africa and Indian Ocean states - Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa and Tanzania - the UAE, and Colombia, to share experiences and best practices at the inter-regional level on how to detect, investigate and disrupt the methods used by transnational organized crime groups to finance their activities.

The workshop, entitled “Understanding and disrupting illicit financial flows associated with the Southern Route for opiate trafficking,” was convened in Zanzibar, Tanzania.


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