KRA probes smuggling cartel as it seizes two vehicles at Mombasa port

The port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is working with multiple agencies in investigating a global cartel involved in vehicle smuggling through the Mombasa port.

“We are working with other local and international investigation agencies to nab and prosecute the culprits who are behind this international vehicle smuggling syndicate,” KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Kelvin Safari said on Friday.

In the latest racket at the port, KRA said it has intercepted two luxury vehicles from the United Kingdom that were not declared by the importer.

Import documents indicated that the container was carrying one Mercedes Benz A180 and a BMW 125I Sport but declaration documents stated the 40-foot container was loaded with a second-hand Range Rover sport HSE SDV6 and one unit of used BMW X5.

The vehicles, with a duty value worth millions, arrived at the port on board the MV Maersk Brooklyn on February 19, 2019, said Mr Safari, in a statement to the press.


Transit to Uganda

The container was imported from the UK and was in transit to Uganda.

“When the container was scanned on March 28, 2019, images revealed the shapes of the two high-end vehicles.

“Upon 100 per cent verification by a multi-agency team on April 3, 2019, the container was found with one unit used Range Rover Sport HSE SDV6 and one unit used BMW X5,” said Mr Safari.

Mr Safari added that the vehicles declared in the manifest and bill of lading were not found in the container.

According to the manifest, the exporter was Mr Kola Solomon from London, UK, and the consignee was listed as Mr Namanya Alex of Kampala, Uganda.

He said KRA will continue to invest heavily in scanning equipment and reiterated that the authority would continue being vigilant until cartels are eliminated.

The vehicles and the container were seized under the provisions of Sections 210 and 212 of East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.