Police in Naivasha have destroyed bhang worth an estimated 81 million shillings as the war on illicit drugs intensify.
During the highly guarded exercise at the Naivasha dumpsite, members of the public were kept at bay as the drugs went up in smoke. The development came after police obtained a court order from the courts allowing them to destroy the illegal haul.
The bhang was recovered last week in the vast Kedong ranch in Mai Mahiu area following a sting operation conducted by security officers.
During the operation, fourteen suspects who included one woman were arrested and have since been arraigned in court.
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Naivasha Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali issued an order to burn the bhang while denying the suspects bond following a request by the prosecution.
According to Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mutua Kisilu who supervised the exercise, police are on the trail of more suspects believed to be part of the criminal enterprise.
“We have managed to destroy bhang worth over Ksh 81 million that was recovered by our officers last week following a raid at a section of Kedong farm,” he said.
He expressed concern over how the illegal trade could have been going on without the knowledge of area residents and leaders.
“We believe that there is a major cartel involved in this illegal trade and we shall not rest until we arrest and charge them in court,” he said.
Kisilu added that plans were underway to conduct an aerial survey over the vast ranch that runs between Mai Mahiu and Narok road to establish if there were other plantations.
According to Kisilu, the bhang had been planted in a one-acre plantation with nearby caves used to dry the illegal product.
The commissioner at the same time expressed concern over an increase in school unrest noting that use of bhang could be the main cause. He added that the area security committee was investigating some kiosks around schools over the sale of cakes laced with drugs.
“We have information that some of the kiosks around schools are selling cakes that are laced with drugs and we have collected samples and sent them to the government chemist for analysis,” he said.
Kisilu challenged members of the public to volunteer information over the use of bhang among young people, a vice he says is on the rise.