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Illegal khat transport costs two Kenyan airlines licenses in Somalia

Storyline:National News

Somalia has withdrawn the licenses of two Kenyan airlines after they transported khat into the country contrary to a government ban in March over COVID-19 concerns.

Buff Air Services and Silverstone Air have had their operations in Somalia ended after they were found to have transported khat disguised as medical supplies late last month. A video on social media shows one of the aircraft landing in Buholdle in Jubbaland.

Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) acting director-general Ahmed Moalim told the media the authority had arrived at the decision after it established the two aviation companies had lied, they were transporting medical supplies.

The move is a double blow to Silverstone Air whose license was suspended by the aviation authority in Kenya last year after its aircraft were involved in at least two accidents in October 2019.

Somalia suspended the import of khat in March after the country recorded the first case of COVID-19. The number of COVID-19 cases has since crossed the 2000 milestone.