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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.”

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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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Diaspora

Here is info on how much it costs to study in USA and where to find most affordable universities

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA.

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BY BOB MWITI

The challenge of finding the most affordable schools, the challenge of passing entrance exams, the challenge of cracking the student visa interview among others! It took me 8 good years to finally make it here in the USA. It is a journey that taught me a lot of lessons that I am always willing to share and help those who are out there wishing to study overseas.

One of the major challenges that a lot of people face is knowing how much it would cost them to study overseas. For those wishing to study in the US, this article is for you. I will try to give you a detailed breakdown of all the expenses that you will most likely incur on your journey to USA as an international student. So grab a pen and a sheet of paper and note this information as it will give you a good understanding of what you need to know as far as finances of studying in USA are concerned.

If you are coming to study in the US, you may either come to a community college for a 2-year associate degree, or to a 4 year college for your Bachelor’s, graduate or post graduate degree.

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA. I will take an average of the following 3 universities.

  1. Indiana University Of Pennsylvania (I went to this school for my master’s) costs 19,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $4,000
  2. University of North Georgia costs $15,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other costs miscellaneous are $,3,500
  3. Midwestern State University costs $11,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $3,000
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So, the average cost of these 3 schools is about $16,500 per year. That covers the tuition, fees, books and other miscellaneous costs.

Before you come to study, you should be prepared to incur relocation costs prior to you landing in the US. These are (US Visa + Passport) about $250, school application fees about $30, entrance exams (eg GMAT, GRE, SAT,ACT) $250, TOEFL (Not all schools will ask for this if you are from an English speaking country ) $200. TOEFL and Entrance exams self-study materials (assuming you study on your own) $200, Immunizations $200, Air ticket$1200(I am assuming you are travelling from Nairobi, Kenya like I did!). Total cost of all these relocation expenses is about $2,300.

Once you are here, you will need to take care of your other living expenses. These are: Shared student accommodation off-campus $500/month which is $6,000/year. Utilities can cost you about $100 (i.e. water, electricity and internet & basic prepaid phone) so that would be about $1,200 per year. Transport could cost you about $50 per month which would equate to $600 per year.

Food would be about $100 per month, which would be $1,200 per year. Student health insurance (although optional) could set you back about $25 per month which would total about $300 per year. Total cost of these living expenses would be about $9,300 per year.

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From the above, you will require a total of about $28,100(16,500+2,300+9,300) for the first year of your studies in the US.

In order for you to be issued with an I-20 (The official immigration document that you take to the Embassy in order to get visa issuance), you will need to show your school, your ability to pay  about ,$26,000 (excluding the relocation expenses).Schools here require you to show funds to cover your full tuition and living expenses for one year.

So, as you can see, studying in the US is expensive. These numbers that I picked are from very modest state universities. There are some universities that charge over $50,000 per year, especially if you are enrolled in those Ivy league schools.

So, for those with the dream of studying in the US, these numbers can be very discouraging. My advice is that, do not be discouraged because there is a way that you can fund most of it. You can get a Job on campus, you can find scholarships, you can get (secured or unsecured) international student loans or you can get graduate assistantship grants (if coming for graduate/post graduate programs).

However, the bottom line is, if you are thinking of coming to study in the US, at least you need some money for your relocation expenses, regardless of whether you have a scholarship, loans or not.

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To know more about most affordable schools in the US that partner with lenders, and to get FREE access to thousands of scholarships offered across the world , please visit my website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

About me;

I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America-A consulting company that helps immigrants find education and job opportunities that are abundant here in the United States.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of.

For enquiries about my international scholars programs & IT training programs, you can check out my personal website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

You can also email me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or call +1 813-573-5619 ext 402 for a FREE 30 minutes consultation. Also, we can connect if you “like” my Facebook page by the name Bob Mwiti or subscribe to my YouTube channel by same name Bob Mwiti.

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VIDEO: All roads lead to Atlanta this weekend for Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) Mugithi extravaganza

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Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) is inviting you to a weekend of fun, food and music as it marks one year of existence. The celebrations will be held on Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 13 at the  at Reception Hall International located at  585 Franklin Gateway unit 150 Marietta GA 30067.

The commemoration brings together various artistes from Kenya and the US, including Shiru wa GP, Mary Githinji, Paul Mwai and Phylis Mbuthia.

According to information posted on its website Kikuyu Diaspora Media (USA) “is Kenya’s fastest growing digital/online Television/Radio station with a strong focus on Local and  International programming.”

“Besides Mugithi night (Saturday) and Gospel music Sunday, we shall also raise funds as we intend to set up a full-fledged Media Center,” said Jeremy Damaris, KDTV’s CEO.

“This is the biggest event we have ever held in the United States,”  he added.

On Sunday, there will be a talent search and an award ceremony.

Those who cannot make it due to unavoidable circumstances can reach out to Jeremy Damaris at 205-720-4397 to support him.

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Two Kenyan men deported in a $170,000 chattered jet

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Migration officials and the federal police last week came under fire after a feature on German ARD’s magazine “report München” revealed that $170,000 (€137,000) was spent to charter a private jet to deport two Kenyan men.

Early Thursday morning on 5th September, a Bavarian police car drove into the Berlin-Schönefeld airport carrying 48 year old Kenyan man ready for deportation. On board of the chartered “Bombardier Global Express” private jet, was another Kenyan man also being deported by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg after his asylum application was rejected with no possibility of appealing the decision.

The case has caused outrage, not because of the deportation but because of the cost of it. However, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the States that chartered the private jet have brought forward several excuses to explain the extravagance.

To begin with, a commercial flight was out of question. Apparently, the two had been issued with emergency travel documents by the Kenyan government that were only valid for 3 days. A common practice with home countries that do not want to take back the returnees, probably a tactic to buy time for the affected, an expert explained on report München. However, finding seats for the two and the 10+ escort team plus the risk of the flight being grounded if the two men resisted the exercise, ruled out a commercial flight in such a short time period.

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Secondly, the officials claimed the two had been labelled dangerous delinquents. However no evidence was put forward to support the claim in regards to the man from Baden-Württemberg. For the 48 year old man from Bavaria, receipts abound.

The 48 year old that has been living in Germany for the past 20 years has had several encounters with the police in Bavaria and after his last encounter, the Bavarian State Office for Asylum and Repatriation (Bayerische Landesamt für Asyl und Rückführung) ordered for immediate deportation after serving his sentence. Among the charges levelled against him included, assault, theft, insult and obstruction of law enforcement. In the last incident where he was charged with attempted murder, he ruffled up the victim so badly that the victim has had to undergo three surgeries and still lost 80% of his eye sight.

A further excuse given was that the costs were in the normal range of chartering a private jet. According to the federal police, they have no influence on the price. Once they receive a deportation request from a federal state, the cheapest price is determined by a quick check with suitable charter companies and the contract awarded – said a spokesman for the Federal Police Headquarters in Potsdam

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Furthermore, the costs would be split between the two states.

The uneventful exercise took less than 36 hours to deliver the two men in Nairobi and have the team return to Berlin.

However, additional costs that might have been missed included the cost of the 14 person team that was escorted the two men in the “fan fair”. In addition to the flight crew, there were nine federal police officers, a medical doctor, a paramedic and a a representative of the border protection agency Frontex – as neutral observer to document whether or not the officials followed proper deportation procedure.

SOURCE-Mkenya Ujerumani

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