Kenya hands six arrested in plane saga to French police

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Tuesday December 22, 2015

By Winnie Atieno

Some of the passengers who were on board the Air France plane at the Moi International Airport as they wait for a new plane to travel to Paris on December 20, 2015.
Some of the passengers who were on board the Air France plane at the Moi International Airport as they wait for a new plane to travel to Paris on December 20, 2015.

Kenya’s security authorities have handed six suspects arrested in connection with the bomb saga on Air France plane on Sunday to French authorities.

A senior police officer at the Coast said the matter is now being handled at the international level.

 

“All passengers left and travelled safely. The French police have taken over the matter,” said the police boss, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He added that the Boeing 777 aircraft is still under investigations before it is allowed to continue with its journey.

The police boss noted investigations on the suspected explosive device found in the plane were still under way despite the French government declaring that it was not a bomb.

French consulate in Mombasa, Mr Mohamed Ramazan, confirmed yesterday that the 459 passengers and 14 crew members had left the country for Paris.

“The rescue plane arrived in Mombasa minutes after 6pm and left at about 8.20pm. It was scheduled to make a stopover at Athens, Greece embarking on the final journey to Paris,” said Mr Ramazan.

He assured that the device discovered in the first plane “was not dangerous and Air France is back to normal operation”.

Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government, Major General (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, on Monday said that Kenya will remain at the fore-front in fighting terrorism since it was bordering Somalia, the base of terror group Al-Shabaab.

“Terrorism is a global war so we don’t take any chances at all. That is why when the distress call was made, we quickly responded and directed that the aircraft should be diverted to Mombasa so that you (passengers) can be secured,” he told the passengers on Sunday when he visited them at different hotels in Mombasa.

“I am here to tell you everything has been taken care of. Swim and relax in the beaches as you await your flight,” he added.

The CS urged Kenyans to maintain peace and to be vigilant. “If you see a suspicious character, please report to security authorities, don’t be scared because the government has put up enough security measures,” he urged.