Tanzania approves extradition to US of alleged drug kingpin

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) " A Tanzanian court on Wednesday approved the extradition to the United States the alleged leader of a global drug trafficking ring who was arrested after a two-year manhunt.

The court in Dar es Salaam approved the Tanzanian government's plan to extradite Ali Khatib Haji Hassan, or "Shkuba," to face drug trafficking charges.

He is accused of leading a drug trafficking ring based in East Africa but with operations in Asia, Europe and North America. He was arrested in 2014 in Tanzania, two years after more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of heroin was seized there and a manhunt for him began.

The U.S. Treasury Department last year sanctioned Hassan and his organization, calling him "a major international drug kingpin who smuggles multi-ton shipments of heroin and cocaine."

The U.S. has accused Hassan of obtaining tons of heroin from sources in Pakistan and Iran and tons of cocaine from sources in South America. His organization has been accused of shipping the drugs to China, the U.S. and Europe since as early as 2006.

"Hassan has frequently attempted to bribe African government officials to avoid arrest and prosecution for his drug trafficking activities," the Treasury Department said in announcing sanctions.

The Tanzanian court on Wednesday also approved the extradition of Idd Mafuru and Emmanuel Adam to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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