The Hawd regional court has passed harsh sentences and fines on five men accused of selling illicit alcohol. The prosecution presented two suspects in court, three of the original five escaped the police dragnet, but they have since been positively identified on their trial.

During the mentioning of their case the prosecution revealed that the defendants were well known for engaging in this illegal business. The court heard the suspect have been nabbed several times dealing in illicit businesses.

The court was told that the accused had contravened the statutory laws of the land and that of the Islamic jurisprudence.

Sentencing the first accused known as Hamdi Hassan Ismael, 25 years old son of  Basra Abdi, the court jailed him for 8 years. He was found to be a repeatitive offender.

The second defendant known as Mahad Abdi Yusuf, a 32 year old, was imprisoned for 5 years.

Hawd Regional court also sentenced in absentia Khadar Hassan Ismael, Mohamed Ismael Ahmed and Faisal Mohamed Abdillahi  to 5 years each.

Their sentences commences as soon as they are apprehended.

The court also penalized the car that was ferrying the illegal cargo, which was impounded by the police.

The presiding magistrate of the Hawd regional court  Sheikh Abdillahi Mohamoud Aw Abdi ordered the burning of the illicit alcohol in front of the court premises.

Present at the court session was the Hawd regional governor Mr. Ahmed Yassin Mohamed Farah and top regional police officers.

Speaking to journalists after the court session the Hawd regional police confirmed that the criminals were arrested with 201 litres of dry gin smuggled through the porous  Ethiopian border.

They warned those with intent to engage in illicit businesses of drugs and alcohol sale will spend lengthy jail terms.

Addressing the press Hawd governor praised the security personnel for their alertness and vigilance.

He revealed those engaging in the illegal business of drugs and alcohol are mostly youth.

The illegal consignment was destroyed by the police outside the court.