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Ship seized for smuggling Sh1.3b heroin was destined for Zanzibar – Suspect

 Pak Abdolghaffar says he, and other crew members, were hired to transport white cement from Dubai to Zanzibar. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

An Iranian national has denied trafficking heroin worth Sh1.3 billion.

The heroin was found in a cargo ship that was seized by security forces in the Indian Ocean in August 2014.

Pak Abdolghaffar who has been charged alongside nine other suspects told a Mombasa court on Thursday that he was one of the crew members of a shipping company had hired and their assignment was to transport white cement from Dubai to Zanzibar.

He denied the allegations that they were carrying drugs on the ship MV Amin Darya that was later blown up in the deep sea. The ship was destroyed by Kenya Defence Forces and supervised by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Pak, who was being cross-examined for the second time, denied claims part of the alleged cement they were carrying was destined for Kenya.

The suspects were accused of trafficking 377.2 kilograms of heroin and 2,400 litres of diesel mixed with heroin.

Pak who was being cross-examined by state counsel Alexandar Muteti denied a claim that they had a client who was ready to receive the cement in Mombasa. He said non of the cargo they had was destined for Kenya.

"We were not delivering anything in Kenya. The white cement was picked in Dubai. We were sailing to Tanzania and then Zanzibar. I do not know who was to receive the cement in Zanzibar since that was not my job,” said Pak while appearing before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

Muteti asked Pak whether he has been to Mogadishu in Somalia. The suspect said he had been to Somalia, at Bosaso, only that he had sailed there in a different vessel.

On the discovery of the drugs at the Port of Mombasa, Pak said he learnt it from a police officer he heard saying security officers had found drugs on the ship.

He said he did not see the drugs even after he heard the officer saying they had discovered drugs on the vessel.

Credit: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/

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