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North Eastern RC puts on notice officers operating bars

Kenya Police. Photo/Selestus Mayira
Kenya Police. Photo/Selestus Mayira

North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno has put on notice security officers operating bars and second generation liquor shops as the government steps up its war against drugs and substance abuse illicit brew in the region.

Currently, a multi-agency team led by NACADA, the National Police Service and the National Government Administrative is conducting a crackdown on drugs in Northeastern.

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The officers have for the past two weeks raided shops, clubs and buildings suspected to be used to peddle drugs.

Otieno was addressing selected security teams from the county to review on the progress in the war at the Garissa government guest house as well as review the progress security situation in the region in as far as tacking the Al-Shabaab menace is concerned.

He said that the government has made it clear that it will entertain security officers engaged in bar business noting that amounted to conflict of interest.

“There is no way a law enforcement officer is going to fight second generation alcohol trade when they are also engaged in the same business. This is a war that we must fight together,” Otieno said.

“I want to put on notice the officers who are operating bars that they should choose to do the business or resign because that is conflict of interest. We are not going to go back on this,” he added.

The tough talking regional commissioner said that he has the list of the officers owning bars and will share the same with the Regional Police Commander Moses Mureithi who is under clear instructions to execute the directive.

Otieno said that so far a number of arrest have been made of suspects engaged in selling of controlled drugs and sell of illicit brews in the region have been arrested and arraigned in court.

He said over 53 pharmacists and agro-vets that are not compliant have been closed in the region and over 500 liters of illicit brews have been destroyed.

The Regional Commissioner said the major problem in the region remains bhang that is finding its way from Ethiopia through Isiolo, Wajir into Garissa County.

“We have mapped up out areas that have been affected by this trade and I am happy to report that Wajir County through the multi-agency team by mounting road blocks to counter those who are trading in this illegal trade,” he said.

Otieno further used the opportunity to laud security agencies in the region for working round the clock to neutralize Al-Shabaab threats.

“A number of planned terror attacks have been neutralized before they happened because of the cooperation between security agencies and members of the public who have volunteered timely intelligence,” he said.

The RC said the region has remained relatively calm because of the cooperation and urged the chiefs and their assistants to continue working closely with members of the public who played a crucial role in enhancing security in the region.

Kinyungu Kithendu
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