- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A Kenyan lawyer charged Tuesday that four of his clients were taken to the U.S. illegally to face drug trafficking charges.

Kenyan authorities sent them to the U.S. despite a court ruling Monday against their deportation, attorney Cliff Ombeta said. The four had been free on bond while fighting extradition to the U.S. but were detained over the weekend.

The four include brothers Baktash Akasha and Ibrahim Akasha of Kenya, Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami of India and Hussein Ghulam of Pakistan. The Akasha brothers’ father was suspected Kenyan drug lord Ibrahim Abdala Akasha, who was killed in Amsterdam in 2,000 after fleeing prosecution in Kenya.

U.S. authorities announced Tuesday that the four had arrived in New York from Kenya and are charged with participating in a narcotics importation conspiracy.

Specifically, they are charged with conspiring to export 99 kilograms of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine to the United States. They were charged after a 2014 sting operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in which its confidential sources posed as a South American drug trafficking organization.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said that beginning in March 2014 the four conspired to import kilogram-quantities of heroin and methamphetamine into the United States.

It describes Baktash Akatha as the suspected leader of an organized crime family in Kenya called the “Akasha Organization,” which it says is responsible for the production and distribution of ton quantities of narcotics in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.

“Moreover, the Akasha Organization’s distribution network extends beyond the African continent to include the distribution of narcotics for importation into the United States,” the statement said.

“As alleged, the four defendants who arrived yesterday in New York ran a Kenyan drug trafficking organization with global ambitions. For their alleged distribution of literally tons of narcotics - heroin and methamphetamine - around the globe, including to America, they will now face justice in a New York federal court,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in the press release announcing the arrival of the four suspects.

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