Kenya drops cocaine smuggling charges against British aristocrat

In this file photo taken on November 11, 2016 British national Jack Marrian (R), who faces charges of trafficking 100 kilos of cocaine from Brazil to the port of Mombasa, watches as a slab of cocaine is presented as evidence at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters, Nairobi. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2019
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Kenya drops cocaine smuggling charges against British aristocrat

  • One hundred kilos of cocaine, said to be worth around $6 million, were seized from a shipping container owned by sugar trader Jack Marrian

NAIROBI: Kenya’s High Court acquitted a British aristocrat on Thursday of smuggling cocaine in a shipment of sugar, ending a high-profile case that captured public interest in how the justice system would treat the scion of a prominent colonial-era family.
One hundred kilos of cocaine, said to be worth around $6 million, were seized from a shipping container owned by sugar trader Jack Marrian in the Kenyan port of Mombasa in July 2016. Marrian’s colleague Roy Mwanthi was also charged.
Marrian, grandson of a Scottish earl, has always maintained that they were framed. The prosecution applied to terminate the case for lack of evidence, but six weeks ago a magistrate in a lower court refused to drop the charges.
“The court was in essence directing a prosecution against accused persons against the wish of the prosecution, without a complainant and a prosecutor,” High Court Judge Luka Kimaru wrote in Thursday’s ruling dismissing the case.
“Hugely relieved that after so long the prosecution has had the courage to do the right thing,” Marrian told Reuters via a message on WhatsApp. The case against Mwanthi was also dropped.
During the trial the defense team presented a letter from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stating that Marrian, 33, could have had no knowledge that the drugs were stashed in a shipment which was en route from Brazil to Uganda.
The grandson of the sixth Earl of Cawdor, Marrian grew up in Kenya, where his grandfather was a minister in the colonial government ahead of independence in 1963.
Mombasa is a favored port of entry for drug traffickers in east Africa, where the smuggling of cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants is on the rise, according to the United Nations.
Corruption among law enforcement and customs officials make the region a convenient transit point for drug trafficking to the rest of the continent, Europe, and north America.


Philippines: Nearly 8,000 police punished over drug killings

Updated 3 min 24 sec ago
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Philippines: Nearly 8,000 police punished over drug killings

  • Up to 14,724 policemen were investigated for their involvement in police drug operations that led to deaths from July 2016 until last April
  • Thousands of drug suspects have been killed in raids carried out by the police
MANILA: A Philippine official says thousands of police officers have received administrative punishments, and more than 2,000 were dismissed, for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed.
Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael Banaag told a news conference Thursday that 14,724 policemen were investigated for their involvement in police drug operations that led to deaths from July 2016 until last April. She said 7,867 of them received unspecified administrative punishments while 2,367 were fired.
Thousands of drug suspects have been killed in raids carried out by the police since President Rodrigo Duterte declared war on narcotics after he was elected in 2016 .