Kenya: East Africa’s drug getaway

28 January 2020

Since the 1990s, drug trafficking networks have been infiltrating Kenyan communication and economic infrastructures. Forced to divert from their main routes, networks have found in Kenya the key elements they needed to transit drugs from Asian producers to European consumers. Since Kenya is an indirect transit hub, the development of drug trafficking has gone relatively unnoticed until the 2010s. From then onwards, increased seizures along the maritime routes, and an upsurge in drug consumption in Nairobi and Mombasa, have started alerting national and international actors. This Analysis demonstrates that far from being a second-class route, Kenya presents endogenous elements on which traffics thrive. The country’s communication and transport infrastructures, coupled with crippling corruption problems and high capacity deficiencies within the police forces and the judicial system, prevent any viable counter-trafficking action. Moreover, exogenous factors foster traffics in Kenya:  its large uncontrolled maritime front and borders allow traffics, redirected from the main routes, to go unnoticed.

Crédit photo : saisie de drogue au Kenya (source : FILE)