ED&F Man Sugar Trader Pleads Not Guilty to Cocaine Smuggling

(Bloomberg) -- An ED&F Man sugar trader accused of smuggling cocaine into Kenya pleaded not guilty to the charges at the start of his trial in the capital, Nairobi, on Monday.

Jack Alexander Wolf Marrian and his co-accused, Francis Roy Mwanthi, entered the plea at the Kibera Law Courts before the trial was adjourned to allow the prosecution to complete its investigations. The hearing will resume Nov. 9, senior resident magistrate Derrick Kutto told the court. Marrian, wearing a gray suit and light blue shirt, spoke in court only to enter his plea.

The 31-year-old stands accused of smuggling about 99.7 kilograms (219.8 pounds) of cocaine into the East African nation’s port city of Mombasa. Prosecutors allege that the container in which the narcotics were found was part of a shipment to the Kenyan importer where Marrian serves as a managing director. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Mwanthi is a clearing agent used by ED&F Man. The London-based commodities house, which traces its history back to the 18th century, has also denied any wrongdoing. Jascha Raadtgever, Marrian’s boss, last week said the firm is “confident that Jack will be fully exonerated and justice will be done.”