3 April 2006

UNODC Executive Director Welcomes Destruction of more than a Ton of Cocaine in Kenya

VIENNA, 3 April (UN Information Service) - The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, today welcomed the destruction of more than a ton of cocaine by the Kenyan authorities.

A consignment of around 1.1 tons of cocaine, seized in December 2004, was incinerated on 31 March 2006 under an order of the High Court in Nairobi. UNODC advised the Government of Kenya on the safe disposal of the drug.

"I am delighted to see Kenya destroying a huge haul of illicit drugs," Mr. Costa said. 

"This cocaine had a street value of perhaps US$100 million, if it had reached Europe or North America. That is US$100 million of criminal money which has now gone up in smoke. The cocaine would have done incalculable damage to the people who used it, and, if the gangs had managed to sell it, they would have spent the proceeds on equally nasty criminal activities."

Mr. Costa said UNODC had been happy to assist the authorities in disposing of the cocaine safely. "We encourage Kenya to redouble its efforts to intercept drug shipments and hope other African countries will follow this excellent example."

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For information contact:

Richard Murphy
Chief, Advocacy Section, UNODC
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 5761
E-mail: richard.murphy@unodc.org