A Mombasa court has sentenced a Tanzanian national to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of trafficking narcotics.
Hussein Massoud Eid was found guilty of trafficking 10 kgs of heroin valued at Sh 30,066,000 and in addition, the court slapped him with a fine of Sh 90 million or in default face an extra five years in prison.
In case he is unable to raise the Sh 90 million fine, the court ruled that the accused will serve four more years in prison, thus end up serving a 35 year jail term.
The accused had been arrested alongside two other suspects in March 2018 and charged with trafficking narcotics, which charges they denied.
His co-accused, Othmani Hamisi Tinje and Mwenda Hamisi Mwenda were acquitted for lack of evidence.
While meting out the sentence, Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni said that he was sentencing the accused person to the custodial sentence to serve as a deterrent to drug dealers whose business he said has been harmful to the youth in the country.
“The narcotics in this country are a mess. Here it is called “unga” and we have seen the effects on the people which are very devastating. The court ought not to allow those responsible for wasting our youth to walk away with light sentences. I believe the accused person is not alone in this business and the sentence should be a warning to those who might be used to do the same business,” said SRM Kagoni while delivering the judgement.
He however downplayed sentencing the convict to life imprisonment, saying the accused person according to the evidence in court was just a messenger being sent to deliver the narcotics since he was in transit, and that it was a clear indication that he was not alone in the business and that the drugs could not be his.
The court however said that the prosecution was able to prove the case against Hussein dismissing his defence saying it contradicted the prosecution witnesses who knew him.
“According to the findings of the court, it is clear that the accused person, Hussein who is said to have been arrested with three briefcases was in transit on the way to Nairobi from Tanzania and he could not convince the court that he was not aware that the briefcases contained narcotics,” said Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni during his earlier judgment.
In mitigation the lawyer for the accused Jared Magolo had urged the court to set him free because he had served one year in remand and the court had denied him bond because he was a foreigner and a flight risk.
Magolo also told the court his client back in his country has a wife and four children and he was the first time offender.
The accused was given 14 days to appeal the sentence.