Two Kenyan Airways employees have been arrested while attempting to traffic drugs. The two members of the airline’s cabin crew were intercepted today for carrying undeclared items – suspected to be drugs – out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
“The airline is aware of the incident and is working in tandem with the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the matter,” Kenya Airways said his morning in a statement distributed through Redhouse, its Nairobi-based PR and communications agency.
The statement said Kenya Airways adheres to all regulations and laws of Kenya and the countries it operates in. The identities of the culprits have yet to be released.
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“In addition, all members of crew are trained on these regulations and laws and are expected to adhere to them at all times,” it said, adding: Kenya Airways remains committed to the integrity of its operation and does not condone any illegal activities by its staff members.
Cases of airline or airport staff being used to traffic are common globally. It’s often a cartel of airport staff and in-flight attendants.
This comes barely two weeks after a police multi-agency team smashed a drug trafficking racket at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport that involved Kenya Airways staff. On the night of 13th October, the team undertook a major sting operation and in the process intercepted four kilograms of narcotics concealed as Kenyan Coffee.
The drugs were found hidden within the crew restroom of a Kenya Airways plane (Flight KQ 870) destined for Hong-kong, China.
The team arrested two suspects namely Daniel Koech and Paul Omondi, both are Kenya Airways in-flight crew members. It is suspected that the two have been working in collusion with former colleagues of the airline to secretly traffic drugs to China, Netherlands, and India.
In April 2002, Kenya Airways sacked 33 workers over allegations of drug trafficking, in one of its major crackdowns on the vice. Kenya has been identified as a major transit point for drugs from Asia to European countries.
Corruption at Kenya’s air and seaports has also been blamed for the increased trafficking. Airport police and immigration officers have often been accused of colluding with the drug dealers to ensure drugs pass through customs undetected.
In South Africa it was reported in September that Priya Govender faces possible life imprisonment after the South Africa Airways hostess reportedly smuggled a large quantity of cocaine into Australia.
Allegedly, she hid six one-kilogram packs of coke concealed in different books. The former resident of Phoenix was arrested by Australian Border Force officers at Perth Airport when they checked what was inside here luggage.