Thursday, 4 May 2017

Accused Tanzanian drug kingpin extradited to US

Accused Tanzanian drug kingpin extradited to US

Tanzania has extradited an indicted drug kingpin accused of overseeing a global heroin and cocaine smuggling network to the United States, the American embassy in Dar es Salaam said.
The US government had last year claimed that Ali Khatib Haji Hassan, a Tanzanian national nicknamed “Shkuba,” was “a major international drug kingpin.”

The embassy said late Wednesday the 44-year-old had been extradited on Monday along with two of his associates, Iddy Salehe Mfullu and Tiko Emanual Adam.
All three face US federal drug charges in a Texas court.
The trio’s lawyers protested the extradition as a violation of their rights, saying Tanzanian justice had still to rule on hearing their appeal.
Tanzania ordered the extraditions last month after Hassan was accused of smuggling shipments of heroin and cocaine to Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
In March 2016, a grand jury in Houston, Texas, returned an indictment charging Hassan and his associates with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin from 2010 to 2015, leading to a formal extradition request.
In a statement, the US embassy lauded the extraditions as “the culmination of close and substantial bilateral cooperation between the governments of the United States and Tanzania over an extended period of time,” notably on security and justice issues.
“This case is a tremendously positive example of how we can improve regional and global security when we work together,” said Virginia Blaser, charge d’affaires at the embassy.
Hassan was arrested in Tanzania in 2014 for smuggling 210 kilogrammes (462 pounds) of heroin seized two years earlier.
According to a statement issued by the US Treasury last year, Hassan obtained large quantities of heroin from sources in south-west Asia, and cocaine from South American suppliers.
The statement accused Hassan of directing his network to send heroin consignments to China, Europe, the United States and other destinations from 2006.
“Hassan served as the primary distributor for Tanzania-based drug traffickers who regularly received multi-hundred kilogramme maritime shipments of heroin from the Makran coast of Pakistan and Iran,” it said.
The US also accused Hassan of overseeing an extensive network in Latin America which distributed South American cocaine into East Africa.
And it also claimed that Hassan had frequently attempted to bribe African government officials to avoid arrest and prosecution.

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