Narcotics Ammendment Bill 2020 Proposes Hefty Fines for Government Officers Involved in the Illicit Trade

The Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill, 2020 if passed by Parliament will see individuals fined between Ksh5 million to Ksh20 million for being in possession of narcotic drugs.

The bill which is set to be discussed on the floor of the National Assembly on Thursday, March 11, will the first of its it kind in over 25 years.

The Bill, fronted by the Administration and National Security Committee of the National Assembly chaired by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange spells doom for public servants or those with aspiration, by barring anyone convicted of an offence under the Act from being appointed or elected to a public office.

The bill further proposes more punishment for drug handlers and dealers, with more sanctions for public servants found in drug dealing.

According to the Bill, law enforcement officers who contravene the Bill will be fined not less than Ksh20 million or imprisonment for not less than 20 years or both.

The proposed penalty for trafficking of narcotic drugs and substances range from a minimum of not less than fines of Ksh10 million to Ksh50 million, is an increase of the current fines that range from Ksh500,000 to Ksh1 million or three times market value of the drugs.

The proposed penalty against owners or persons occupying or managing premises who permit the premises to be used to prepare opium, cannabis, heroine or other narcotic drug and psychotropic substances for smoking, manufacturing, sale or distribution is a fine of Ksh20 million or imprisonment term of not less than 10 years or both.

“This is an improvement from the current penalty of Kshs. 250,000 or imprisonment of not more than 10 years or both,” says National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) in their policy document.

The Bill also introduces the offence of conspiring with persons outside or inside Kenya to commit offences related to drug manufacturing, possession and trafficking in or outside Kenya. The penalty for conspiracy is a fine of not less than Ksh100 million and imprisonment for life.

The Bill has also introduced the offence of collecting, generating or transmitting information for use in committing offences under the law. Proposed penalty is a fine of not less than Ksh5 million or imprisonment of not less than five years or both.

The Bill proposes to mandate the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to request for information or evidence where a person including foreign governments or an entity alleges or have information that person has committed offences under the Narcotic, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act.

The Bill also proposes that a police officer above the rank of Chief Inspector of Police may apply to the High Court for an order to intercept communication.

Prior to applying for the order to intercept communication, the police officer has to seek a written consent from the Director of Public Prosecutions.


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