Mombasa, the sprawling coastal tourist city has emerged as a principal trans-shipment point of illegal drugs. The port city’s geostrategic and economic value to the Republic of Kenya makes it a priority for both Kenyan and United States counternarcotics bodies. Unfortunately, a decade later, the international drug cartels still ship cocaine through Mombasa besides making mega sales in the Kenyan Coast. American counternarcotics officials based at its consulate in Kenya accuse a prominent politician, Hassan Ali Joho and his brother Abu Joho of being the drug cartel lords of East Africa. In a rare show of resentment a member of parliament from the port city accused Governor Joho of drug trafficking in a public event attended by the President of Republic of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta.
The demise in the May of 2000 of the Mombasa drug cartel headed by Ibrahim Akasha, Magdi Barsoum, and Mounir Barsoum, which controlled drug trade routes into the Kenyan Coast and mainland, heralded Abu Joho to a meteoric rise in 2004 after clearing a tone of cocaine into the largest economy in East Africa. Joho, according to the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) filled the gaps left by the Akasha’s.
Associates Who Travel to Colombia
The US Intelligence traced Swaleh Kandereni, a close business associate of Ali Joho to a Colombia drugs cartel. Swaleh is also a close associate of Harun Mwau, who the DEA listed as a drug lord who directly imported cocaine from Colombia. Mwau had his assets worth USD 750 Million frozen by the US Government, further confirming the drug trafficking charge. Ali Punjani, Swaleh Kandereni, Billy Mahandi and Swaleh Ahmed are the Joho brother’s cocaine and contraband trafficking associates. All 3 were arrested in Mombasa under drug trafficking charges in 2010.
U.S and Israeli Intelligence Services Similar Observations
The Israeli Intelligence is closely watching the activities of two companies, Prima Bins & Pest Control and AMIRAN Kenya Ltd. Prima Bins & Pest Control, an import-export company in charge of waste management and rat- killing, based in Mama Ngina Drive, Mombasa is owned by the Joho Brothers. Mossad and US Intelligence believe the company is used to traffic narcotics, particularly cocaine. U.S. and Israeli officials in Kenya identify Israeli company Amiran Kenya Ltd, owned by Israeli businessman Andy as an actor in the Joho Brothers drug trafficking network in Kenya and East Africa.
Andy is an Israeli national working for the telecoms arm of the Israeli firm AMIRAN. AMIRAN in recent past provided communication equipment to the General Service Unit (GSU) and the Administration Police Service (APS) wings of the Kenya National Police Service (NPS). This could suggest Andy is likely a spy working to infiltrate the drug network on behalf of the intelligence services.
The Joho brothers have become increasingly vocal, particularly the young politician cum Mombasa Governor Ali-Hassan Joho. Joho, according to the U.S intelligence ships narcotics through repackaging of the drugs as Mumias sugar and glucose. Joho’s political power is believed to be behind the challenges faced by Kenya’s Counternarcotics efforts.
However, the current regime in Nairobi has been consistent in its anti-drugs campaign. Two of Joho Brothers drug ships were bombed in deep sea destroying cocaine worth billions of shillings. The Joho’s have been exposed and they seem shaken by that fact. Their empire is crumbling and the long arm of the law will and must catch up with them, argues a unnamed U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) official.