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NDLEA arrest law enforcement officer, six others for dealing in cocaine, others

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Joy Joseph, Lagos.

A serving officer of a law enforcement agency, Popoola Abayomi, has been arrested by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for selling assorted illicit drugs to students of a federal university and cultists in Ogun state.

The drug dealer who serves in the Lagos State Command of the security agency was arrested on Wednesday, June 15, after days of surveillance on his wife’s shop used as his sales point in the Camp area of Abeokuta.

One of his salesmen, a motorcycle rider is known as Ogah was trailed to the location at about 8 p.m. and arrested with six pinches of Colorado weighing 1.17grams before Popoola who has been on the Agency’s watch list was nabbed with different illicit drugs including codeine -17 bottles; cannabis -22.26grams; tramadol 230 -98grams; 61 tablets of flunitrazepam -23.72grams; 113 tablets of molly -48.16grams and sex drops -43.92grams.

According to the Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, after the arrest of the two suspects, some student union officials of the institution blocked the NDLEA team with their official vehicle.

“The narcotic agents however restrained themselves and after hours of standoff succeeded in moving the suspects to custody.

In the same vein, one Adelodun Kamaldeen has been arrested by operatives of the Oyo State Command of the Agency at General Area, Ilorin, Kwara State following the interception of a parcel containing cocaine and heroin that weighed 10.5grams and 4.8grams respectively on 13th June,” he said.

Babafemi added that 24hours after the incident, two ladies; Mary Peter, 40, and Mercy Oladele, 39, were arrested at Total Garden, Ibadan when NDLEA operatives acting on a tip-off, intercepted their commercial Micra car.

He said the two women were arrested with seven bags of cannabis weighing 77.23kg brought in from Ogbese, Ondo State, to supply a man they simply identified as Alhaji.

“According to them, they had earlier supplied the same Alhaji two bags before coming with the seven bags they were caught with.

On Friday, June 18, operatives of the Oyo State Command acting on intelligence also raided the residence of one Alhaji Faruq at Elebu area, Akala expressway, Oluyole LGA, Ibadan, where they recovered 43 ampoules of methylphenidate,” he added.

Similarly, in Kaduna state, a drug trafficker, Segun Abraham was arrested at Panteka area of the state on June 17, with 211.500kg of skunk heading to Kano state.

Meanwhile, a Nigerian returning from Pakistan, Ezenyeche Kingsley Ebuka has been arrested by NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja Lagos with five pellets of heroin weighing 250grams discovered in his anus.

Babafemi said: “The suspect had arrived the ‘D’ arrival hall of the airport on June 14, on Turkish airline flight from Pakistan with the illicit drug inserted in his anus. He however failed to beat the eagle eyes of narcotic officers during inward clearance of passengers on the flight.”

While commending the Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna and the MMIA Commands of the Agency for sustaining the offensive action against illicit drug trafficking and the cartels running it, Gen. Marwa warned that the NDLEA will not spare any law enforcement agent hiding under the privilege of his uniform to engage in narcotic criminal business.

“Those who think they can sabotage ongoing efforts to rid Nigeria of the menace of illicit drug trafficking and abuse hiding behind the façade of their uniforms should better think twice because they’ll have NDLEA to contend with. We’ll not only arrest and expose them but we’ll equally prosecute them and seize all assets acquired through the proceeds of their criminal act,” he warned.

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months

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KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months


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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Airways will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.
  • The airline in a notice to its customers yesterday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.

The airline in a notice to its customers Monday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

The airline will then resume full operations on the route on September 20, flying three times per week on the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network.

Passengers on the route will part with Sh46,000 ($419) for one-way air ticket on economy class seats from Nairobi to Mumbai- prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Welcome back onboard! Fly from Nairobi to Mumbai starting Thursday 16th September with normal schedules resuming from Monday 20th September 2021,” said the airline in a notice to its customers yesterday.

KQ Suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai on April 30 until further notice, following a government directive on travel between India and Kenya due to a Covid-19 crisis in that country.

The airline said on Friday that passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of the last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, will have to change their plans.

Affected passengers, KQ said, could also take vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. Last month, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include France, the UK Bangladesh, Oman and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has so far detected 33,264,175 corona virus cases with the number of deaths hitting 442,874 as at September 13.

A large number of patients from Kenya also travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts affordable and easily accessible healthcare.

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs

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Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs


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Man pulls a cart loaded with second-hand clothes at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.
  • Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

The average price of a tonne of second-hand clothing items imported into the country crossed the Sh100,000 mark for the first time last year on reduced volumes in the wake of safety protocols and guidelines to curb spread of coronavirus.

Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.

Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

Last year’s drop was the first dip since 2011 when 76,533 tonnes were shipped in compared with 80,423 tonnes the previous year, the official data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

The import bill for the merchandise amounted to Sh12.24 billion, a drop of 31.11 percent, or Sh5.53 billion, year-on-year.

TIn imposing the temporary ban on used clothes, Kebs had applied a standard which prohibits buying second-hand clothes from countries experiencing epidemics to ensure disease-causing microorganisms are not imported into Kenya.

Higher quality and relatively lower prices for mitumba has continued to drive demand for used clothes at expense of locally-made products amid higher margins enjoyed by traders largely operating in informal markets.

The lucrative second-hand clothing market has seen traders from China —a key source market for the merchandise —open shops in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest informal market for mitumba, in recent years to cash in rising demand.

Earnings from exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories fell 5.32 percent to Sh32.92 billion last year compared with 2019, data indicates.

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud

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Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud


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Cotu boss Francis Atwoli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.
  • Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.

Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

Mr Atwoli is the secretary-general of KPAWU. The rival union claimed KPAWU had encroached on its area of workers’ representation.

Justice James Rika, however, dismissed the claim and ruled that the dispute should have been taken through conciliation, and was therefore presented in court prematurely.

He also stated that Kefhau must go beyond its registration and recruit sufficient members from the employers, to be granted recognition and organisational rights.

“Registration on its own, does not afford the claimant (Kefhau) recognition. Until there is proof that Kefhau has satisfied Section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, the status quo must be maintained,” said the judge.

“Kefhau must recruit at least 50 percent plus one, of the unionisable employees in the floriculture and horticulture industry, members of the Agricultural Employers Association to be considered for recognition,” he stated.

He noted that there is a Recognition Agreement and CBA, binding Mr Atwoli’s union and Agricultural Employers Association, affecting 73 Flower Growers Group of employers, and over 60,000 employees.

“It is objectionable for Kefhau to be allowed organisational rights, and the legitimacy to receive trade union dues and agency fees, from over 60,000 employees, just on the strength of registration as a trade union,” said the judge.

Kefhau wanted the court to declare that it is the sole trade union, which is allowed by its constitution to carry out activities in the export floriculture and vegetable industry, and an order restraining Mr Atwoli’s from representing workers in that area.

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