Tanzania orders 'drug kingpin' be extradited to US

2017-04-15 11:23
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Nairobi - Tanzania has ordered the extradition to the United States of an alleged drug kingpin said to have overseen a global network smuggling heroin and cocaine, a judicial source said on Friday.

The ruling on Ali Khatib Haji Hassan, known as Shkuba, and two other Tanzanian associates came on Wednesday at a court in Dar es Salaam after a request from the US, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A judge "authorised the extradition of the three men to the United States to answer the charges against them. But they remain in Tanzania until the government organises their transfer," the source told AFP.

Hassan was designated a "major international drug kingpin" by the United States in 2016.

The US accuses him of smuggling "multi-ton shipments of heroin and cocaine to Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America via his East Africa-based drug trafficking organisation."

Hassan was arrested in Tanzania in 2014 for smuggling 210kg of heroin seized two years earlier.

According to a statement issued by US Treasury last year, he obtained large quantities of heroin from sources in south-west Asia, and cocaine from South American suppliers.

Since at least 2006, the statement said, Hassan has directed members of his network to send shipments of heroin to China, Europe, the United States and other destinations.

"Hassan served as the primary distributor for Tanzania-based drug traffickers who regularly received multi-hundred kilogramme maritime shipments of heroin from the Makran coast of Pakistan and Iran," it said.

"Hassan also oversaw an extensive drug network in Latin America that distributed South American cocaine into East Africa en route to Europe and China."

According to the statement Hassan had frequently attempted to bribe African government officials to avoid arrest and prosecution.

Read more on:    tanzania  |  east africa

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