Kenyan Wanted in US Badru Aziz Saleh to be Extradited to Face Drug Trafficking Charges


Eva Nyambura, Kahawa Tungu

Date Published

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A Kenyan who was on the US most-wanted list will be extradited to face drug and wildlife trafficking charges.

When he appeared in court on Monday, Badru Aziz Saleh, who was caught last month while attempting to exit the country via Liboi, did not object to the extradition charges.

Aziz was apprehended after a tip off from members of the public, just days after the US Embassy’s Charge d’affaires Eric W. Kneedler and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti offered a Sh233 million reward for him and his accomplice Abdi Hussein Ahmed.

Abdi has yet to be apprehended.

Aziz has been held in Nairobi since his arrest. Detectives have been interviewing him about his involvement in a transnational organized crime network that traffics rhino horns, elephant tusks, and heroine across borders in East and West Africa.

Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania are among the countries involved.

According to court records, the goods were shipped disguised as works of art, such as African masks and statues, to buyers in the United States and Southeast Asia who would wire money or pay cash.

Moazu Kromah, 52, of Liberia, Amara Cherif, 57, of Guinea, and Mansur Surur, 62, of Kenya, were extradited and pled guilty before a New York court on March 30, April 27, and June 1, respectively.

The rhino horns sold through their network are estimated to be worth $3.4 million, while the elephant ivory implicated has a retail value of $4 million, in addition to more than 10 kilos of heroin.

According to court filings, some rhino horns were intercepted while on their way to a customer in Manhattan on March 16, 2018, and another set was intercepted on July 17, 2018.

Surur also conspired with others in August of the same year to distribute and possess with the intent to deliver a substantial quantity of heroin to a buyer in New York.

Authorities are still looking for anyone who has information about Hussein’s whereabouts.

For their own protection, the US Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime is keeping the identity of the bounty recipient a secret.