Anti-narcotic detectives arrested seven wanted drug barons and seized heroin worth millions in Mombasa.

Regional police boss Larry Kieng said they also impounded seven vehicles hidden in a home in the Nyali suburb.

A campaign car branded Joho, for Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, was among those seized.

Kieng said the Joho-branded car was found in the yard of an apartment owned by one the suspects.

He told The Star on Tuesday that they are yet to establish who the owner is.

“We are yet to verify the owner of the car with relevant authorities including KRA. We cannot conclude it belongs to the Joho at this stage,” said the police boss.

“It’s wrong to speculate ownership of the vehicle and the motive at this stage. Maybe it was disguised by the drug traffickers. All the vehicles were taken to the regional headquarters for investigations.”

Regional police commander Larry Kieng’ displays some of the narcotics that were seized from seven suspects during a raid Mombasa, July 24, 2017. /ELKANA JACOB


Reached for comment on Tuesday, Mombasa communications director Richard Chacha said the vehicle, registration KCH 883 D, doesn’t belong to Joho’s family

Chacha said ODM supporters have volunteered to brand and use their cars to drum up support for the county chief, who is fondly referred to as the Sultan or ‘Governor 001’.

Many vehicles in the county have been branded for this reason.

In March, Joho’s political adviser Idris Abdirahman dismissed social media reports linking him to an international drug trafficking and terrorism network.

The suspected drug barons were also found with Sh4.5 million and $10,000 cash, believed to be proceeds from drug smuggling.

Three of them were identified as Abdullahi Ahmad Kheri (Tanzanian), Hope Brenda Mbaga and Musa Athumani Kihara.

When they were taken to court, the prosecution said the Tanzanian is a flight risk.

Police were given five days to complete their investigation.

The government has confiscated tonnes of narcotics in several operations following an intensified war on drugs.

Noting the effects of drugs, especially on youths, President Uhuru Kenyatta called for local and international support.

Kieng said: “The war on drugs must be sustained. We believe the seven are behind the drug trade in the country.”