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Former Kenya Airways air hostess walks to freedom after 13 years in jail

Priscillah Chemutai Kilongei who is serving an 18 year jail term for drug trafficking with her lawyer Martin Obuo in2005, she is set to be release after 13 years NAIROBI:

Priscilla Chemutai Kolongei, the former Kenya Airways air hostess convicted and jailed in 2002 for drug trafficking will be set free Monday.

Kolongei, 49, and a single mother of one, will walk out of Lang’ata Women’s Maximum Prison at 9am after serving 13 years of her 18-year sentence.

Priscilla Jemutai Kolongei

Priscilla Jemutai Kolongei

She is being released five years early for good conduct. On a cold Thursday mid-morning, The Standard on Sunday paid her a visit at the facility for an interview.

The officer in charge, Mrs Olivia Obel, had told us earlier that she had flatly declined our interview request, “but you can come and try to convince her yourselves.” Clad in a heavy orange sweater and starched blue blouse, her hair well-permed and dyed brown, with a touch of grey on the sides, Priscilla cut the figure of an affable, likeable mother.

“I have said everything I had to say to the media,” she said of her decision not to grant us an interview, a decision emphasised with a vigorous wave of hand.

Priscilla’s high-flying career came crashing down on the afternoon of March 2, 2002, after a Kenya Airways flight from Mumbai touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. In her luggage was a parcel she had been given in India to deliver to somebody waiting at JKIA.

The package would turn out to be 27 kilogrammes of heroin worth Sh27 million at that time. Anti-narcotics police officers had been tipped off and were waiting to pounce on her.

Journalists were at hand to capture the moment. The then air hostess had been unwittingly lured into drug trafficking back in 1997 by friends, she told the BBC Swahili Service in an interview last year.

Whenever she went out of the country on official assignment, she would ferry items said to be medicine and clothing for friends, and they would pay her a token of appreciation.

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