Woman jailed to 45 years in prison after being caught with Sh16m drugs in Mombasa

A Tanzanian national was Tuesday sentenced to 45 years in prison for being in possession of narcotics while travelling in Mombasa.

Maimuna Jumanne Amir was apprehended at the Moi International Airport back in March 2021, carrying 5,389 grams of heroin worth Sh16,167,000, officials said.

Amir had concealed the drug haul in a black bag. She was additionally fined Sh48 million for the offence.

Officials involved in the war against drug trafficking and consumption termed the sentencing a boost in their campaign.

They said this is a warning to those involved in the business that the law will catch up with them.

Mombasa Law Courts Principal Magistrate Martin Rabera sentenced her to 35 years in prison for drug trafficking, with an additional 10 years for being in possession of drugs.

The 10-year sentence, however, carries an alternative fine of Sh48 million.

The accused committed the offence jointly with others not before the court, on March 14, 2021, at Moi International Airport in Changamwe subcounty within Mombasa county.

During the ruling, the Magistrate said the prosecution led by Barbara Sombo proved the case beyond reasonable doubt after presenting 16 witnesses.

Cases of drug trafficking, possession and consumption in Mombasa have been on the rise despite operations to tame them.

Dozens of traffickers have since been arrested and charged in the operation.

Police say traffickers now use roads as opposed to airports to carry out their business.

The most commonly trafficked narcotics from Tanzania and through Uganda is heroin. Cocaine is also trafficked from the two countries.

This comes in the backdrop of a recent National Drug Survey by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) indicating widespread abuse of prescription medication.

DCI conducted operations where traditional dealers in hard drug were arrested while in possession of assorted prescription pills pointing to a shortage of heroin.

The report indicates that subscription for harm reduction clinics where methadone maintenance treatment is used to treat opioid dependence have increased especially at the coastal city of Mombasa.

The opioid-dependent takes a daily dose of methadone as a liquid or pill, which reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids.

In the report, the medications commonly abused were identified as codeine, dextromethorphan, noscapine, morphine, caffeine, ketamine and papaverine.

The government is now looking at measures to curb the proliferation and availability of the medications in the market.

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