Drug traffickers face Sh50 million fine in new bill

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 00:00 |
ARV drugs. Photo/Courtesy

Drug traffickers risk being fined up to Sh50 million if a proposed law is enacted.

Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Amendment Bill, 2020, also targets law enforcement officers who collude with drug barons to defeat the cause of justice, and also manufacturers of substance used as raw material for such drugs.

According to the bill, which if passed could be a turning point in the fight against drugs in the country; the fines will depend on the quantity of the drugs.

The proposed law, sponsored by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange who chairs the National Assembly’s Administration and National Security Committee, seeks to enhance penalties to the offence in possession and trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Suspects found in possession of more than 101gm of the narcotics will be jailed for life or pay a fine of Sh50 million while those in possession of 51-100gm risk a fine of not less than Sh30 million and jail terms of not less than 20 years.

The current law proposes a fine of Sh1 million, or three times the market value of the drug or whichever is greater.

The current punishments are largely seen as less deterrent due to the relatively lenient sentences and fines, and fails to target other key players in the drugs cartel.

According to the bill, those found in possession of between 0.1-50gm will be subjected to fines of not less than Sh20 million, jail terms of not less than 15 years or both.

The Bill, if passed will also see police officers, investigators and prevention officers who assist drug traffickers carry out their trade among others fined not less than Sh20 million, imprisonment of terms of not less than 20 years or both upon conviction.

Those found smoking narcotic substances such as bhang will be fined Sh250,000, while those found in possession of equipment used for production of narcotics substances or permits their premises to be used for production of such substance will be risk fines of not less than Sh20 million and imprisonment of not less than 10 years.

The bill also sets tough penalties for manufacturers of raw materials for drugs and those who transport such materials.

They will face fines of not less than Sh50 million and imprisonment for terms not less than 20 years.

The penalties will also apply to those in possession of salts related to the raw materials.

Kenya has been identified as a major drug trafficking hub in the region because of its porous borders, weak laws and corruption.

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