Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Seychellois Arrested In Kenya With Drugs Worth SH 6,000,000





 Police arrest five suspects, search yacht after recovering Sh6m drugs


Anti-narcotics police were yesterday searching a luxury yacht at the Mombasa Port for drugs after it was linked to two kilogrammes of heroin found in a vehicle in Kilifi. The ship was detained in Kilifi on Friday. The Seychellois pilot of the yacht named Iris Baby and four Kenyan suspects were also detained at the port, where the boat was towed to on Sunday. Reports show the two kilogrammes of heroin have a street value Sh6 million. Mombasa Police Commander Robert Kitur told journalists that five men, a Seychellois and the four Kenyans, were under investigation over heroin found in the car in Kilifi town. He said they were arrested on the strength of intelligence gathered from local residents. ''The car which police had trailed following a tipoff from members of the public was found with the drugs, which were (drugs) expected to be taken on board the yacht, which was anchored at the Kilifi Boat Yard,'' he said. The five men, who looked composed, were taken to Kenya Marine Police Station, located within the port and then bundled into a police patrol boat moored to the KPA G section. Yesterday, a multi-agency security team comprising officials from the Kenya Navy, Kenya Police, Kenya Ports Authority's security, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Immigration Department, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) searched the boat as Kenya Navy's Special Boat Unit (SBU) kept watch in speed boats. "We are still searching the yacht and will give you details if we make any discoveries," said Kitur. He said the vessel most likely sailed into Kilifi Creek from Seychelles after making a call in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. "It has come here many times from Seychelles through Dar-es-Salaam," said Kitur. He said the vessel regularly transports tourists on the East African coast and is believed to be owned by a Briton. The yacht is registered in Singapore, police said. Psychotropic substances Last month, a US State Department report warned that Kenya was still a leading conduit for drugs from South Asia. The report said that most of the hard drugs are transported through the Indian Ocean in small vessels to the Kenyan coast and later distributed across three continents. "Kenya is a significant transit country for a variety of illicit drugs, including Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine, with an increasing domestic user population...imports of precursor chemicals, including those used to produce methamphetamine and psychotropic substances, are on the rise," said the report.

Traffickers exploit Kenya's long Indian Ocean coastline and lack of adequate security controls at the Port of Mombasa, it added. "Once in Kenya, the heroin is distributed to retail markets and user populations throughout Africa, Europe, and North America. South American cocaine is brought into Kenya by commercial air couriers arriving on international flights to Nairobi for further distribution to other African locations and Europe." In November last year, US agents and Kenya's anti-narcotics police from Nairobi raided the home of the Akasha family in Mombasa and arrested Baktash Akasha, his brother Ibrahim Akasha, Indian drug trafficking convict Vijay Goswami and Gulam Hussein, a Pakistani

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke
Anti-narcotics police were yesterday searching a luxury yacht at the Mombasa Port for drugs after it was linked to two kilogrammes of heroin found in a vehicle in Kilifi. The ship was detained in Kilifi on Friday. The Seychellois pilot of the yacht named Iris Baby and four Kenyan suspects were also detained at the port, where the boat was towed to on Sunday. Reports show the two kilogrammes of heroin have a street value Sh6 million. Mombasa Police Commander Robert Kitur told journalists that five men, a Seychellois and the four Kenyans, were under investigation over heroin found in the car in Kilifi town. He said they were arrested on the strength of intelligence gathered from local residents. ''The car which police had trailed following a tipoff from members of the public was found with the drugs, which were (drugs) expected to be taken on board the yacht, which was anchored at the Kilifi Boat Yard,'' he said. The five men, who looked composed, were taken to Kenya Marine Police Station, located within the port and then bundled into a police patrol boat moored to the KPA G section. Yesterday, a multi-agency security team comprising officials from the Kenya Navy, Kenya Police, Kenya Ports Authority's security, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Immigration Department, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) searched the boat as Kenya Navy's Special Boat Unit (SBU) kept watch in speed boats. "We are still searching the yacht and will give you details if we make any discoveries," said Kitur. He said the vessel most likely sailed into Kilifi Creek from Seychelles after making a call in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. "It has come here many times from Seychelles through Dar-es-Salaam," said Kitur. He said the vessel regularly transports tourists on the East African coast and is believed to be owned by a Briton. The yacht is registered in Singapore, police said. Psychotropic substances Last month, a US State Department report warned that Kenya was still a leading conduit for drugs from South Asia. The report said that most of the hard drugs are transported through the Indian Ocean in small vessels to the Kenyan coast and later distributed across three continents. "Kenya is a significant transit country for a variety of illicit drugs, including Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine, with an increasing domestic user population...imports of precursor chemicals, including those used to produce methamphetamine and psychotropic substances, are on the rise," said the report.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000158250/police-arrest-five-suspects-search-yacht-after-recovering-sh6m-drugs

Monday, 6 April 2015

Breaking News: Sri Lankan government suspends General Manager of key state bank



Sri Lankan government suspends General Manager of Bank Of Ceylon
Apr 06, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka has suspended with immediate effect, the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) General Manager D.M. Gunasekera.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the BoC General Manager was suspended for many reasons which include the allegation of misuse of power and corruptions.

The Bank of Ceylon in 2011 has reportedly opened up a branch in Seychelles without permission from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. According to reports, the Central Bank was probing the reasons why a BoC branch was set up in the Seychelles when there were only about 64 Sri Lankans living in Seychelles.

http://www.colombopage.com

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost - Happy Easter James!

Ministry team goes to Seychelles for probe 

The Finance Ministry is sending investigators to Seychelles to probe allegations of illegal transfer of funds and assets during the former regime, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said the officials would have discussions with Seychelles authorities in a bid to gain more information about the funds illegally transferred from Sri Lanka. Any transfers of Sri Lankan funds from Seychelles to other countries would also be discussed.
The minister said the Central Bank was also probing the reasons why a Bank of Ceylon branch was set up in the Seychelle in 2011. There were only about 64 Sri Lankans living in Seychelles and he saw no need for a BoC branch there. Initial investigations have revealed that the BoC branch was opened without the Central Bank’s approval. The BoC has only made a request to the Central Bank but approval had not been given.
Mr. Karunanayake said the Central Bank had been told to take action against any officials involved in these illegal moves and transactions. The minister said there were also charges that cargo had been sent to Seychelles onboard the national airlines.  “We believe that persons were taking advantage of the tax concessions in Seychelles,” he said.
The Financial Crimes Investigations Division of the Police also has begun inquiries into the illegal transfer of funds to Seychelles.  A World Bank team is also providing assistance to carry out investigations on money laundering.  The FCID will record statements from officials of the BoC next week.
By Damith Wickremasekara
Source Sri Lanka Times

 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Air Seychelles Not Viable Says IMF


The Government has misled the Seychellois public again on a matter of much public interest – the state of finances at Air Seychelles. On Mar 12, 2015 Air Seychelles' website posted as follows “Air Seychelles, the national carrier of the Republic of Seychelles, today announced a third consecutive year of profitability after recording a net profit of US$3.2m for 2014.” Its CEO Manoj Papa added that “our increased profit figure is the result of higher revenue, greater productivity and an ongoing focus on costs.” In stark contrast to this, the IMF on Mar 28, 2015 confirmed that Air Seychelles “had declared a profit at a net level, which includes all revenue and costs, but had incurred a loss at an operating level". This is shameful for a Government that speaks of transparency. The public were not told that if you removed the subsidy that was provided by Government to Air Seychelles in in 2014-2015 of over $13.5m, Air Seychelles has actually run a loss of at least $10.3m and has only been kept flying because of tax payers’ money being thrown in. It is unacceptable that a public enterprise CEO should lie to the public who pays his salary. It is even worse that Government had hoped they would not be discovered on a lie of this magnitude especially as 2 Government Ministers sat on the Air Seychelles board. How can this Government be trusted in its presentation of public accounts? At the Registrar the last annual returns lodged have been for the period 2010-2011; this in itself is a violation of the law. This state of affairs calls for a full investigation of Air Seychelles and its accounts and is a matter that should be raised by the parliament if they are serious about public finances.

By Ahmed Afif

Monday, 30 March 2015

Conflict in Yemen results in near-miss off city skies

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Two Gulf aircraft, re-routed through Indian airspace as the Yemeni skies were closed due to the ongoing conflict in the Arab nation, came within 25 seconds of colliding with each other on Sunday night, top AAI sources told Mirror.

The sources said the two planes - Etihad Airways flight EY 622 from Abu Dhabi to Seychelles and Emirates Airlines flight EK 706 from Seychelles to Dubai - breached the mandatory separation levels about 100 nautical miles off Mumbai.

While the Mumbai Air Traffic Control is preparing a preliminary report documenting the incident, officials told Mirror the two pilots reported a Resolution Advisory (RA).

An RA is an alert that goes off in the cockpit if there is another object less than 25 seconds from a collision. It also tells the pilot if the object is above him or below him.

"It appears that the TCAS or the traffic collision avoidance system display in the Emirates aircraft cockpit went off, leading to a scare," a senior Airports Authority of India officer investigating the incident told Mumbai Mirror.

A Traffic Collision Avoidance System - or Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance system (both abbreviated as TCAS, and pronounced tee-kas) - is an aircraft collision avoidance system designed to reduce mid-air collisions between aircraft.

An official said the two aircraft were re-routed through Indian airspace because the Yemeni airspace - controlled by Shia Houthi rebels - was closed for commercial flights. 
 
 http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Conflict-in-Yemen-results-in-near-miss-off-city-skies/articleshow/46750616.cms

Friday, 27 March 2015

Flight time between Middle East and Seychelles increases due to closure of Yemeni airspace

Flights between Seychelles and the Middle East are currently taking a longer route to reach their destinations, due to closure of Yemeni airspace. The Yemen Civil Aviation Authority made the decision to close their airspace yesterday as a precaution to commercial aviation, after military activities erupted in the region of Aden in Yemen.
Airlines are, therefore, making a detour to avoid the Sanaa airspace and are being dispatched out in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean using Muscat and Bombay airspace. This is affecting both the Emirates and Air Seychelles/Etihad flight schedules.
In the case of Emirates airline, the flying time has increased by approximately 45 minutes, from 4 hours, 5 minutes to 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Air Seychelles/Etihad has slightly over an hour added to the flight times for the Seychelles-Abu Dhabi sector and vice versa.
Other than those traveling to Seychelles, hundreds of flights using the Yemen airspace to access the Indian Ocean region as well as large parts of Africa en route from the Gulf area, and services to and from Europe transiting in the Yemeni airspace, are being affected.
Ms. Esmee Samson, the General Manager for Air Navigation Services at the SCAA, said: “Yesterday, we also had overflying traffic from Europe to the Indian Ocean Islands which were routing mostly in the Nairobi airspace but has as of today resumed their normal routing in the Seychelles airspace with their detour being further north.”
Seychelles, as a contracted state of International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), has welcomed this cautious approach although this situation will bring about considerable additional costs and slightly longer flight times.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan, said:
“Safety, security, and passenger rights have to be safeguarded at all costs always. Passengers traveling to our region can rest assured that as a government as a contracting state of ICAO we will always err on the side of caution and support actions from other authorities who are doing just that.”
It is for the moment unclear for how long this situation will be on-going, but the SCAA is monitoring the situation very closely as well as the ICAO Eastern and Southern African Office in Nairobi.

http://www.eturbonews.com/57002/flight-time-between-middle-east-and-seychelles-increases-due-clo