Witness: Seized Iranian ship MV Amin Darya cargo wasn't drugs

bagamoyo

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Jan 14, 2010
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July 20, 2016
Mombasa, Kenya

Witness: Seized Iranian ship MV Amin Darya cargo wasn't drugs

''According to the prosecution, these drugs were found on the ship on which the suspects were sailors on July 3, 2014. The ship was controversially blown up on President Uhuru Kenyatta's orders in 2014 despite two restraining court orders, sparking protests from a judge and a magistrate''.

But before the court in Mombasa a witness testified that none of the 10 samples taken from Iranian ship MV Amin Darya tested positive for narcotics.


Photo: Kenya blows up a heroin loaded ship

A witness told a Mombasa court that the samples he took randomly from 10 of the 250 bags seized on the ship in July 2014 tested positive for gypsum, which he said was a legal component of cement.

Thomas Mwau, an expert from the Mining ministry, testified for the prosecution in the trial of 11 people including two Kenyans, an Iranian, an Indian and several Pakistanis who are charged with trafficking 377.2kg of heroin valued at Sh1,131,672 in granule form. They also face a charge of trafficking in 33,200 litres of heroin worth Sh189 million.

Yesterday Mr Mwau, a senior superintendent of mines, told Senior Principal Magistrate Julius Nang'ea that he was required to take the samples for testing and evaluation at the ministry's laboratory in Mombasa. He said since there was no laboratory in Mombasa, he sent the samples to Nairobi through a courier service, sparking gawking looks and objections from defence lawyers.

Mwau said tests showed the samples contained Calcium Oxide, Zinc eight Oxide, Phosphorous, Silicon Silver and Iron.

The defence lawyers raised questions about the chain of custody of the samples and the authenticity of the analytical report that arose thereafter.

Yesterday defence lawyers Wycliffe Ombeta, Jared Magolo, Jacqueline Waihenya and Pascal Nabwana raised concerns over the manner in which the samples were handled and transported from Mombasa to Nairobi without proper procedure.

"I never recorded any form to show the samples had been taken for analysis," Mwau said.
Mr Magolo said the analyst and police failed to prepare a record and form to sign against to show the samples were ever taken to Nairobi for analysis and evaluation.

Source: Witness: Seized Iranian ship MV Amin Darya cargo wasn't drugs
 
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