Major drugs traffickers and their conspirators could be fined as much as Sh30 million and jailed for life if convicted, according to the bill amending the Drugs Act.
Those nabbed with drugs will forfeit them and government officers found guilty of abetting trafficking will also be jailed for 20 years, fined Sh20 million or both.
These are some of the punitive measures Nyali’s Mohamed Ali has proposed to curb drug and substance trafficking.
It would amend the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act to make drug trafficking very expensive.
“Anybody found in possession of equipment, machine, laboratory or any other utensil intended for preparation, production or manufacturing of narcotic drugs shall be guilty of an offence,” the MP proposes.
Such a person, he recommends, shall be liable to a fine of not less than Sh30 million in addition to life imprisonment.
The current law provides for a Ksh1 million fine and life imprisonment.
Ali wants the punishment extended to conspirators — financiers and other sympathisers. He argues that any Kenyan citizen should be subjected to the punishment, regardless of whether they reside in the country.
The first-term legislator argues that drug trafficking is a crime that transcends geographical boundaries and that the cyberspace has made it smuggling easy for traffickers.
“Parties to the crime may be located in different countries and there is there a need to look at the crime from a conspiracy angle,” he says.
If Parliament approves Ali’s proposals, government officers at the point of entry who aid or abet the vice will also face severe punishment.
The officers, if convicted, would be liable to a fine not less than Sh20 million or jailed for not less than 20 years.
It refers to “a law enforcement officer in charge of ports and points of entry into the country, who aids or abets any offence under this Act, including through concealing from the commission or colluding with any person suspect.”
The former journalist known for investigative pieces; his Jicho Pevu, also wants any person found in possession of a narcotic drug and or psychotropic substance and is not authorised to do so under the law, to forfeit it to the government.
The MP also wants to allow the police to intercept communications of the subjects, upon granting a court order, to aid investigations.
“The interception will aid investigators in finding out the entire group involved in the conspiracy,” Ali said.
The officer intercepting the communication, however, risks 10 years in jail or Sh20 million fine or both he or she fails to seek a court order.
The amendments give the public the opportunity to provide information to police officers relating to offences of drug trafficking. However, those who fail to disclose such information if it is proved in court shall risk five years in jail or a fine of not less than Sh5 million.