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Economy

Multi-agency State officers charged over illicit goods

KPA Chief Manager Kiprono Cole Bullut (right),
KPA Chief Manager Kiprono Cole Bullut (right), Customs Verification Officer David Njagi Mbogori (2nd right) and Kebs inspector Peter Kinyanjui Ndungu, among other suspects charged at the Milimani Law Court on Monday, September 24, 2018 over importation of substandard rice, fertilizer, adult diapers and tyre tubes. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Over 10 employees of the Kenya Ports Authority, the taxman and Kenya Bureau of Standards were Monday charged over importation of substandard goods.

The accused persons who included Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) chief manager of container freight stations Kiprono Cole Bullut and customs head verification officer David Njagi Mbogori, were arrested in Mombasa over the importation of expired rice, substandard potassium nitrate fertiliser, adult diapers and tyre tubes.

They appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi and denied the charges of connivance to commit an offense, willful disobedience to statutory duty, abuse of office and neglect of duty.

Mr Bullut and Mr Mbogori were jointly accused of scheming to release a consignment of substandard Thai white rice to a company known as IGSAR group Kenya limited.

“The rice did not meet the specified standard namely EAS128:2013 East African Standard for milled rice,” prosecution told court.

The offenses relating to importation of expired rice were allegedly committed on or about December 2017 within Mombasa County.

The alleged expired rice was being imported from Thailand and has been entering the country after being repackaged in the high seas before hitting the shelves as Kenyan rice.

The court also heard that on June 30, Mr Bullut allegedly allowed the clearance of import consignments of substandard potassium nitrate fertiliser to Elgon Kenya Limited at the container terminal freight station.

Between March 6 and 26, the court was told that Mr Bullut together with Mr Michael Lukhobia Juma, a customs verification officer, they released a consignment of tyre tubes and flaps to Tyre World Limited.

Mr Bullut was further accused together with another customs officer, Dorothy Wanja of unlawfully releasing a consignment of substandard adult diapers to Harleys Kenya between May 15 and June 7.

Other accused persons who appeared in court Monday are Kenya Bureau of Standards inspectors Mr Peter Kinyanjui and Mr Joseph Bojo, port health officer Mr Mwangemi Pole Dima, and clearing agents Roy Francis Mwanthi, Moses Ngoka Yaa, Zainab Taibali and Felix Makau Simon.

Others are Mr Bimal Kantaria, Mr Baiju Kantaria, Mr Iqbal Osman, Ms Irene Githendu, Mr Peter Mwadziwe Nzui, Mr Elimius Ambane, Mr Rupen Shah, Mr Bassam Iskander, Mr Ahmed Ashkir, Mr Suresh Naran and Mr Bhavin Aswin.

The case will be heard on November 15.

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