Kenya lawyer: Govt illegally sent 4 to US in drug case

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Nairobi - A Kenyan lawyer charged on Tuesday that four of his clients were taken to the US illegally to face drug trafficking charges.

Kenyan authorities sent them to the US despite a court ruling on Monday against their deportation, attorney Cliff Ombeta said. The four had been free on bond while fighting extradition to the US but were detained over the weekend.

The four include brothers Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha of Kenya, Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami of India and Hussein Ghulam of Pakistan. The Akasha brothers' father was suspected Kenyan drug lord Ibrahim Abdala Akasha, who was killed in Amsterdam in 2 000 after fleeing prosecution in Kenya.

US authorities announced Tuesday that the four had arrived in New York from Kenya and are charged with participating in a narcotics importation conspiracy.

Global ambitions 

Specifically, they are charged with conspiring to export 99kg of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine to the United States. They were charged after a 2014 sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in which its confidential sources posed as a South American drug trafficking organisation.

A press release from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said that beginning in March 2014 the four conspired to import kilogram-quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into the United States.

It describes Baktash Akatha as the suspected leader of an organised crime family in Kenya called the "Akasha Organisation," which it says is responsible for the production and distribution of ton quantities of narcotics in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.

"Moreover, the Akasha Organisation's distribution network extends beyond the African continent to include the distribution of narcotics for importation into the United States," the statement said.

"As alleged, the four defendants who arrived yesterday in New York ran a Kenyan drug trafficking organisation with global ambitions. For their alleged distribution of literally tons of narcotics — heroin and methamphetamine — around the globe, including to America, they will now face justice in a New York federal court," US Attorney Preet Bharara said in the press release announcing the arrival of the four suspects.

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