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Kebs MD Ongwae arrested over bad sugar

Charles Ongwae
Former Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) managing director Charles Ongwae. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) Managing Director Charles Ongwae has been arrested over bad sugar.

Mr Ongwae was Friday afternoon being grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi.

Nine other Kebs top officials were also arrested including quality assurance and inspection director, Mr Eric Chesire, and head of the inspection department, Mr Eric Ochieng.

Police were grilling them on the bad sugar that has been seized in raids across the country and issues touching on Kebs sticker marks.

The Nation recently reported that goods that are unfit for human consumption have been allowed to flood the market with the connivance of Kebs officials working in cahoots with traders, putting the lives of millions of Kenyans at great risk.

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Fake stickers

A syndicate operating within the Kebs compound oversees the printing of the fake stickers by Madras Security Printers Private Limited, an Indian company contracted by the government to produce all mark-of-quality labels. The fake stickers are then used by smugglers and counterfeiters.

On Thursday, Mr Ongwae told the National Assembly Committee on Trade and Industry that tests on impounded sugar samples had found high levels of copper, but did not find any traces of mercury as claimed by Interior secretary Fred Matiang’i.

The high presence of copper and lead in the sugar means millions of Kenyans have been exposed to the harmful effects of the heavy metals, which cause a wide range of diseases and disorders.

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This article was originally published on the Daily Nation

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