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Kenyan woman arrested in Ghana with suspected Sh40 million cocaine

A Kenyan woman is currently in detention in Ghana for reportedly attempting to smuggle 11.04 kilograms of what is believed to be cocaine worth Sh41 million ($309,120).

The 35-year-old identified as Mary Njeri was arrested at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on April 15, 2023.

In a statement from the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) of Ghana dated Monday, April 17, 2023, the lady was arrested after a routine check at the arrival hall after disembarking from a South African Airways flight from Nairobi to Accra via Johannesburg.

“A search of her luggage revealed packages of Cremora food that contained the concealed drugs. Preliminary questioning revealed that she had confirmed possession of the consignment in her luggage, and she was later arrested for further investigation,” the statement read in part.

NACOC added that the exhibits have been sent to the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) for analysis and report, while the suspect is being held in prison pending further investigations and prosecution.

“We wish to use this medium to remind the general public that the possession and transportation of illicit drugs without lawful authority is illegal and punishable under sections 40 (1) and 41 (1) of Act 1019 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020,” NACOC added.

According to the Act, a person who without lawful authority, proof of which lies on that person, has possession or control of a narcotic drug for use or for trafficking commits an offense.

The latest arrest comes days after another Kenyan woman was detained by Hong Kong authorities for smuggling 1 kilogram of a narcotic substance believed to be cocaine into the Chinese city.

The cocaine, which was concealed inside her body, was held in 67 pellets and has an estimated street value of Sh15 million (HK$900,000), according to Hong Kong police.

The 35-year-old woman, who is said to have been acting suspiciously, was arrested on April 9, 2023 at the Hong Kong International Airport as she arrived in the Chinese city from Nairobi via Addis Ababa.

Customs officers picked the woman for inspection before escorting her to a local hospital for examination.

As she waited to be examined, the woman allegedly excreted the suspected drugs. She was arrested immediately after.

“As at April 10, the arrested woman has excreted 67 pellets of suspected cocaine weighing about 1 kg in total,” said Hong Kong’s Customs Excise Department in a statement.

She was charged at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on April 11 with one count of trafficking a dangerous drug into Hong Kong.

“The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of Sh85 million (HK$5 million) and life imprisonment,” said the Hong Kong Customs Department.

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