Nairobi News


Kenyan car dealer arrested with 4kg of cocaine in Sri Lanka

By Hilary Kimuyu September 25th, 2023 2 min read

A Kenyan national has been arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake with 4 kilograms of cocaine, estimated to be worth around Sh532 million.

According to local news outlets, a 26-year-old passenger, who had arrived from Ethiopia, was arrested on Sunday at the arrival terminal of the airport by officers of the Sri Lanka Customs narcotics control unit.

The suspect, who is said to be a Kenyan car dealer, had reportedly travelled from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to Doha in Qatar and had then boarded a Qatar Airways flight (QR 654) bound for Sri Lanka.

Customs officers said that 180 capsules of cocaine, weighing at least 4 kg were found concealed inside three metal cookie tins inside his hand luggage.

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Officials said that the suspect was arrested by customs officers while attempting to exit through the ‘Green Channel’ at the airport.

This was based on foreign intelligence received by the Sri Lanka Customs narcotics control unit.

The arrested Kenyan passenger, who had arrived in Sri Lanka for the first time, has been handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers at the BIA along with the haul of drugs for further investigations.

Sri Lanka officials did not disclose the suspect’s name.

This is not the first time a Kenyan has been arrested with drugs while entering the country.

In 2021, a Kenyan national was arrested at the same airport while attempting to smuggle around 50 capsules containing cocaine in his abdomen.

The then, 39-year-old man had arrived at the BIA on an Emirates flight EK650 from Kenya and was arrested on suspicion by the officers of Narcotic Control Unit of Sri Lanka Customs.

The arrested suspect was examined by the body scanning machine at the airport premises and it was observed that the suspect had hidden something suspicious in his abdomen.

Upon further questioning, the suspect admitted that he had hidden cocaine-containing capsules in his abdomen.

Officials said it was observed that about 50 capsules containing such drugs were hidden in the suspect’s abdomen, out of which 06 capsules containing the drug were taken out by the suspect at the airport.

Subsequently, the suspect and the goods were handed over to the Police Narcotics Division by the officers of the Narcotics Control Unit of Sri Lanka Customs for further investigations.