31-year-old Jack Marrian, a British aristocrat, was charged after cocaine worth $5.62 million (£4.5) million was found by Kenyan authorities in a shipment of sugar belonging to his company in July
31-year-old Marrian, a British aristocrat, faced 30 years in jail if convicted
The charges are about to be dropped, authorities say the case against him is weak and they knew he didn’t know about cocaine
Marrian is happy at prospect of spending Christmas with his family
A British aristocrat who faced 30 years in an Kenyan jail after being accused of smuggling cocaine worth millions of pounds is set to have the case against him sensationally dropped this week.
According to a bombshell document obtained by The Mail on Sunday, Kenya’s anti-narcotics unit has urged the country’s directorate of public prosecution (DPP) to drop the case against Jack Marrian at a hearing in Nairobi on Wednesday.
Mr Marrian, grandson of the 6th Earl Cawdor and nephew of the current Earl, was charged by Kenyan police after cocaine worth $5.62 million was found in a shipment of sugar belonging to his company in July.
Jack Marrian was charged by Kenyan police after cocaine worth £4.5 million was found in a shipment of sugar belonging to his company in July
The end to his long ordeal comes after a British paper, The Mail on Sunday , exposed the weakness of the case against him in a globe-spanning series of investigations. Revealing how US drug enforcement agency staff and police in Spain had followed the shipment from Brazil to Valencia, and were certain that Mr Marrian knew nothing of the cocaine.
Marrian welcomed the news, saying he felt ‘joy’ at the prospect of spending Christmas with his family, free from the fear of jail. He felt confident he said, of acquittal for the first time since his arrest in a dawn raid on his home in an affluent suburb of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
The 31-year-old businessman, a contemporary of the Duchess of Cambridge at Marlborough College, added: ‘This is the first positive news I’ve heard during my whole ordeal.
‘It fills me with joy to think of sharing this with my family in the lead-up to Christmas. If this injustice had continued, I stood to lose my freedom for the rest of my life, and my family would have been destroyed.’
His attorney said the DPP’s office had confirmed that they had received the letter requesting the withdrawal of charges against his client.
The letter implies that the reason for the investigation being dropped is that they are awaiting further information from abroad. However, a DEA source in Nairobi said the reference to ‘further intelligence from Brazil and Valencia’ was meaningless and that the drugs operation had already been fully investigated, and Mr Marrian vindicated.
Reportedly, nearly 100 kg of cocaine were loaded on to a ship in the Brazilian port of Santos by a South American crime syndicate. The drugs were intended to be unloaded in Valencia, Spain, by gang members.
But they failed to remove the cocaine from the ship, and it sailed on to Kenya in a container ordered by Mr Marrian’s company, Mshale Commodities. The drugs were then seized by police in Mombasa.
One agent said: ‘We knew before it landed that this cargo was never intended for Jack Marrian or any company in Kenya. It had been overlooked and missed by the criminal gang in Spain, then sailed on to Mombasa via Oman.’
US drug enforcement agency staff and police in Spain had followed the shipment from Brazil to Valencia, and were certain that Mr Marrian knew nothing of the cocaine
Reports compiled by the DEA and handed to Kenyan police included evidence from Brazilian and Spanish police which stated that ‘the recipient of the shipping container would have no knowledge of its contents’.
Despite that, Mr Marrian and Mshale clearing agent Roy Mwanthi were charged with smuggling narcotics.
Until now, prosecution lawyers have refused to hand over DEA reports that could clear them.
Mr Marrian’s next appearance was scheduled for next month but that is likely to change after Wednesday’s application to magistrates to withdraw the charges, allowing him to walk free.