Kericho County Security Committee, today, Wednesday, set ablaze 2,057 rolls of bhang worth over Sh1 million and 63 coin-slot gambling machines valued at Sh3.7 million.
Police officers impounded the rolls of bhang at Brooke, Manyoror and Kapsoit areas in Ainamoi Sub-County while the gambling machines were rounded up at Kipsitet area in Soin Sigowet Sub-County.
Addressing the press, Kericho County Commissioner (CC), Mr. Kamau Karung’o, said police acted on a tip-off from members of public after the consignment of bhang was off loaded from a vehicle and left unattended to by the suspected peddler.
“The transporter and the owner of the bhang had a disagreement and the transporter started to offload the bhang and that is when members of public with the help of area chiefs alerted the police who seized three sacks containing the rolls of cannabis,” revealed Karung’o
Mr Karung’o who was flanked by Kericho County Police Commander, Mr. Silas Gichunge, said police had launched a manhunt for the suspected peddler who is still at large.
“Since the suspect is still missing, we decided to burn the bhang rolls since it’s a very tempting drug and we want to discourage those engaging in the illegal business,” said Mr. Karung’o.
The Administrator also said that preliminary investigations show that the bhang, which is distributed in the country, is mainly imported from neighboring Tanzania, while some of it is ferried to other counties from the Nyanza region, through Kericho County as a transit route.
The County Commissioner said that the County Security Committee had bolstered security along the Kisumu-Kericho-Nakuru highway, by erecting more roadblocks and urged motorists to cooperate with police officers conducting inspections, to nab traffickers of the illegal herb business.
“It’s a thriving cartel and Kericho is not the market for the bhang business, but used by peddlers as a transit route to Nairobi and Mombasa, but our security officers will ensure bhang is not transported via this route. We will deal with suspects in accordance with the law,” Mr. Karung’o said.
Meanwhile, the County Commissioner expressed concern that over 500 coin slot gambling machines worth over Sh30 million have been rounded up and destroyed in Kericho this year, adding that a lot of money lost in the illegal business and urging members of public to be wise on spending their money in legal investments.