Two Local Airlines Stripped of Their Licenses by Somalia

Miraa traders at Kiengu miraa market in Igembe Central, Meru County on September 6, 2016.
Somalia revoked licenses for two Kenya airlines for allegedly smuggling Khat declared as “medical supplies” into the country.

The Somali government termed the act as a violation of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Sources told VOA that Somalia licenses for Buff Air Services and Silverstone Air Services stand revoked. 

This comes hours after a video emerged online showing locals unloading cargo believed to be miraa from a plane with the registration 5Y-WFC at Buhodle Town airstrip on May 26.

A spot check showed that the plane belonged to Buff Air Services. 

On March 23, the Somalia government suspended all cargo and passenger flights into the country, dealing a big blow to local miraa farmers.

Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) Chairman Kimathi Munjuri wrote to the Ministry of Trade, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, the Kenya Airports Authority and Ministry of Transport seeking a resolution on the matter. 

“All this is happening despite the Government of Kenya not receiving any official confirmation of communication from Somalia. 

“In north-eastern, we deliver 100 tonnes of miraa daily valued at more than Ksh30 million while daily exports to Mogadishu are valued at Ksh26 million,” he stated. 

On April 8, Kenya Navy Soldiers burned two boats which had been intercepted ferrying miraa through Lamu into Somalia.

The boats were ferrying miraa worth Ksh25 million to Somalia, all of which was burnt by authorities.

Mombasa County Commissioner Irungu Macharia appreciated the efforts of the Kenya Navy in spotting the vessels flouting the existing ban.

“We are grateful for the hawk-eyed efforts of our Kenya Navy soldiers who were able to stop such a huge consignment from crossing our borders into Somalia,” he praised. 

Miraa traders at Kiengu miraa market in Igembe Central, Meru County on September 6, 2016.

Daily Nation