The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has confiscated 12 top-of-the-range vehicles that were smuggled into the country from the United Kingdom, a senior official has said.
Customs and Border Control Commissioner Kevin Safari said the vehicles worth millions of shillings were stolen in the UK last year and shipped in illegally by an international crime syndicate.
Mr Safari spoke after Kenya and UK border patrol teams pledged co-operation to smash the syndicate where luxury vehicles stolen in the UK are shipped to Kenya for sale locally and for onward transmission to Uganda and across East Africa.
“Kenya and the UK governments re-exported 12 high-end vehicles which were seized by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials at Mombasa Port after receiving intelligence they were stolen in the UK,” he said.
At the same time, Mr Safari said two luxury Range Rovers had been intercepted in Mombasa Port after the cargo scanners revealed them to be high-end motor vehicles against their manifest documents that read otherwise.
“According to import documents, the Range Rover Sport cars, which were subject of an international motor vehicle crime and smuggling investigation, were on transit to Uganda,” he said.
Mr Safari said his officers were on the lookout after receiving information from UK authorities that the vehicles were headed to Mombasa aboard a ship, MV. MSC Positano from Oman and on arrival, KRA officials demanded to see their manifest.
“They had not been declared and were subjected to x-ray cargo scanning on May 20 where images revealed presence of top of the range motor vehicles,” he said.
The discovery prompted further verification exercise on the cargo’s source that revealed the vehicles had been stolen from their UK owners.
“KRA, local security agencies, Interpol, United Kingdom Authorities and other international partners are working together towards breaking the syndicate involved in smuggling stolen high-end vehicles from UK into Kenya,” he said.