KRA officials impound Sh20m contraband sugar in Mombasa

Police inspect illegal sugar imports impounded in Mombasa last year. PHOTO | FILE
Police inspect illegal sugar imports impounded in Mombasa last year. PHOTO | FILE 

Officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority Tuesday impounded eight containers of contraband sugar worth Sh20 million in a container freight station in Mombasa.

Four of the 20-foot containers had been declared as handbags and belts while the other four had been declared as lubricants.

The cargo was marked ‘VHP sugar, product of Brazil’.

It has a date of manufacture of August 2015 and an expiry date of August 2018.

Mr Peter Ng’ang’a, KRA’s customs chief manager in charge of freight stations, said the sugar had been loaded in Dubai and was on transit to Uganda.

Documents were false

“These containers arrived in the country in September, but using our intelligence networks, we suspected that the declaration documents were false.

“We stopped and carried out 100 per cent verification. No one has come forward to claim them,” he said.

The containers were found to contain Brazilian sugar, said Mr Ng’ang’a, who confirmed that a Kenyan firm had cleared the cargo while the importer was a Ugandan.

He said they suspected the sugar would eventually be dumped in the Kenyan market, a practice that has gone on for many years.

According to the declaration papers for the handbags, belts and lubricants, the cargo would have fetched only Sh4 million in revenue.

Mr Ng’ang’a, who declined to name the clearing agent for legal reasons, warned unscrupulous importers that the law would catch up with them.