SEIZED

Lamu police resort to night raids as new strategy in war on drugs

Police have been unable to make arrests as they evaded the law by having informers.

In Summary
  • The impromptu searches which commenced this week have proven effective as most of the perpetrators were caught unawares.
  • The raids are being conducted by officers from the Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Police assemble a hoard of drugs for burning after seizure in Lamu island last year.
Police assemble a hoard of drugs for burning after seizure in Lamu island last year.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Police in Lamu have come up with a new strategy to nab drug peddlers in the region and boost the war against drugs.

Police have taken to conducting impromptu searches in villages, town centers and street corners where they have managed to make numerous arrests and seize drugs.

For a long time, drug dealers in Lamu have found ways to evade police dragnets, a situation that paralysed the war on drugs in the region.

Despite many of the dealers being known by community members, police have been unable to make arrests as they evaded the law by having informers who would let them in on every move the police made in trying to apprehend them.

However, the impromptu searches which commenced this week have proven effective as most of the perpetrators were caught unawares.

The raids are being conducted by officers from the Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

In the most recent case, police conducted an impromptu swoop on several houses in the dead of night where seven drug dealers were arrested and 928 grammes of cocaine with a street value of Sh3.7 million recovered.

Acting Lamu county commissioner Charles Kitheka confirmed the arrests and cocaine seizure adding that the suspects, six men and a woman, will be presented in court anytime.

Kitheka said the special unit has reliable Intel on a select households known to be conducting the drug deals and that their raids had made such locations a priority.

“This is just one raid and we are going to have many other successive raids in line with the government’s directive on eradicating drugs,” Kitheka said.

He said the formation of the special unit was informed by the fact that many of the drug dealers are always armed and dangerous hence the need for specialised tactics during the raids.

AMU deputy commissioner Bravin Akolo urged the community to work with the police in waging war against drugs in the region by volunteering useful Intel to enable more arrests.

Lamu residents including religious leaders and elders have welcomed the new strategy terming it the perfect approach in the war on drugs.

“We welcome it and we want the police to know that they have our full support. We must all fight drugs and save our children,” community elder Omar Ahmed said.

Well-known drug dens in Lamu include Mtangawanda, Tchundwa, Mbwajumwali and Kizingitini in Pate Island in Lamu East.

In Lamu West, the hotspots are Milano, Kashmir, Kijitoni, Gadeni, Bajuri and Wiyoni areas.

The most common drugs in Lamu are cocaine, heroin and bhang.

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