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Latvia man jailed for smuggling miraa from Nairobi into UK

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Latvia man jailed for smuggling miraa from Nairobi into UK

By ALLAN TAWAI

A man who was caught trafficking miraa from Nairobi to the UK has been jailed for ten months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

The 27-year old Nauris Ennitis from Latvia, pleaded guilty to the illegal importation of 35 kilograms of miraa with a value of Sh. 2,800, 000 (£20,000) into the UK where the plant is a banned class C drug.

The defendant had arrived at London City Airport on a flight from Zurich having originally travelled from Nairobi.

Prosecutor Madhu Rai told the court that in September 2017, Ennitis was stopped by a UK Border Agency officer who had spotted him pushing two large suitcases which he later said he had packed himself.

The court was told that when the officer questioned the accused whether he had been given anything to carry, Ennitis immediately admitted by saying “Yes, I’ve got khat in there. It’s all mine, no-one else has anything to do with it. I just wanted to make some money.”

The two suitcases were stripped open and officers found cloth-wrapped bundles of miraa. The suspect admitted on the spot that he knew it was illegal to bring miraa into the UK, but he was going to gain from importing it.

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During the interview, Ennitis said a friend in Kenya had offered to pay him Sh. 140, 000 (£1,000) once he had successfully delivered the drug into the UK.

The prosecutor, Miss Rai, pointed out migrant population from East Africa countries as the main market for the leafy plant which is chewed and has a similar effect to amphetamine, the court also heard that at the time of the case, Ennitis was subject to a 12-week suspended sentenced imposed for breaching a community order he had originally received for driving with excess alcohol.

Speaking via a video link from the prison where he had been on remand, Ennitis, who was representing himself explained that he had breached the suspended sentence and it had been activated in full last month. Regarding miraa offence, he acknowledged “I knew it was illegal, the only reason I was doing it was because I had lost my previous property, and I needed to get a new property,” he said

Ennitis also told the court that, with the exception of last month, he had been consistently working and paying taxes since moving to the UK from Latvia.
He said: “I feel remorse about it. It was a bad thing to do.”

While delivering the judgement the judge said: “You were being paid for that. You needed money because you were in debt, but there are other ways of getting money. You could have done more overtime, but you chose to go down this course. But it is clear you are showing great shame for what you did, and you were entirely honest when you were caught. I very much trust this is the last time the courts are troubled by you, and that you can go back to being a hard-working citizen of this country.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Passaris rides on commuter train from Ruiru to Nairobi

In 2013, the Dutch government banned miraa exports denying Kenya over Sh1.5 billion in annual revenue.

Soon after, the UK declared miraa a class C drug and banned all imports, leaving Kenyan farmers with Somalia as the only major market.

 

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Africa

Kenyan woman in US who shot dead her ex-husband arrested

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Police in the United States are holding in custody a Kenyan woman for shooting dead her ex-husband last week.

Marie Kendale Kimani a resident of Rhome, Texas, who reportedly shot dead Jonathon Tumbo, was arrested in her apartment on Wednesday.

Officers who were responding to a call from Kimani about an argument between the two found the lifeless body of Tumbo at the home.

The man reportedly succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the chest.

EVIDENCE

When questioned by police, Ms Kimani said she was involved in a physical altercation with Mr Tumbo.

“Subsequent follow up investigation by investigators and related evidence was not consistent with Kimani’s account of a physical altercation,” the Sheriff’s office stated in a press release.

Ms Kimani, 35, is currently being held in a County jail as she tries to raise Sh100 million ($1million) bail.

Nairobi News

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Passaris rides on commuter train from Ruiru to Nairobi
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Africa

Illegal immigrants turn to GoFundMe in effort to stay in U.S.

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Some enterprising citizens who are fed up with the slow pace of progress in building President Trump’s border wall have decided to take matters into their own hands.

US media reports that dozens of people have launched GoFundMe accounts to raise money that they say they will make sure is used to push the president’s plans for his “great, beautiful wall.”

On the other hand,  illegal immigrant “Dreamers” have also turned to “crowdfunding” to raise money, asking for donations to pay their fees as they rush to apply for renewed status under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that keeps them from being deported.

According to Washington Times, American good Samaritans have been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than 600 pro-immigrant campaigns as they look for ways to become personally involved in the immigration debate.

“This is certainly a way they can do that, and it makes a big difference to these people,” said Peter Boogaard, communications director at FWD.us, a pro-immigration advocacy group founded by tech executives that is working with GoFundMe to highlight the DACA campaigns. “They’re not asking for huge amounts of money. They’re asking for a little bit of support to make their ability to renew their applications a little easier.”

READ ALSO:   Why Nairobians have gone crazy about pineapple peels
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Diaspora

Kenyan woman dies on board plane to Dallas, Texas

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A Kenyan woman who was travelling to the United States from Nairobi to visit her family died aboard a plane on Tuesday less than an hour before it landed.

According to the family, Hannah Kamau, a resident of Githunguri in Kiambu County, fell ill suddenly and died while on the flight to Dallas, Texas.

The family said efforts by the cabin crew to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

“They told us that she developed shortness of [breath] and started gasping for air. [After collapsing, the cabin crew performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) that revived her. But after about ten minutes or so, she collapsed again and this time around they couldn’t revive her,” said Mr Patrick Nganga, her nephew who lives in Dallas.

Her daughter, Ms Alice Kamau, told the Nation her mother had not complained of any signs of illness before she embarked on the journey in Nairobi.

“I spoke to my mom just before she boarded the flight in Nairobi and she was in a jovial mood because she was finally coming over to see us, especially her grandchildren. At the time, she didn’t complain of anything. Therefore, it was a total shock to me when I was told that she had died,” said Ms Kamau.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Passaris rides on commuter train from Ruiru to Nairobi

Ms Kamau said she was informed of her mother’s death by airport personnel where she was waiting to pick her up.

The family is waiting for the autopsy report to know the cause of her death.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 23 at the Neema Gospel Church in Dallas, Texas.

 

By Chris Wamalwa, Daily Nation

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