More than 3000 bags of contraband sugar disappear from Mombasa godowns

In one the godowns owned by Bollore in Changamwe, thousands of sugar bags disappeared two weeks ago.

In Summary

• The godowns were closed last year by a multi agency team led by KEBS and KRA probing contraband sugar suspected to be contaminated with mercury and copper.

• In BENVIC godown, Jomvu, more than 950 bags printed Zambia Sugar were stolen on Friday night.

Former KRA commissioner for intelligence Githii Mburu (foreground) inspect a suspected illegal consignment of sugar at a godown in Changamwe on June 17, 2018.
Former KRA commissioner for intelligence Githii Mburu (foreground) inspect a suspected illegal consignment of sugar at a godown in Changamwe on June 17, 2018.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Police are investigating loss of more than 3000 bags of sugar suspected to be laced with mercury in two godowns in Changamwe and Jomvu in Mombasa.

The godowns were closed last year by a multi agency team led by KEBS and KRA probing contraband sugar suspected to be contaminated with mercury and copper.

In one the godowns owned by Bollore in Changamwe, thousands of sugar bags disappeared two weeks ago.

 

In BENVIC godown, Jomvu, more than 950 bags printed Zambia Sugar were stolen on Friday night.

Reports from police sources indicate that more than 20 people with weapons raided the go down near Owino Uhuru slums and assaulted two gate men before loading the bags in a waiting lorry.

“We have arrested seven people and investigations are ongoing,” Changamwe Sub County Commander Daudi Loronyokwe said on Saturday while directing the Star to DCI officials for more details.

A security personnel who was manning the Ballore godown is on the run.

Area DCIO Josiah Njiiru said more people had recorded statements at Changamwe Police Station on Saturday without diverging more information.

While the number of stolen bags is said to be between 3000-5000, Njiiru said government agencies will visit the go downs to ascertain the exact number.

KRA's coast region coordinator Nicholas Kinoti said cartels are inventing more ways to conduct illegal businesses.

 

“I have noted with a lot of concern deliberate delay of many consignments including food, rice, sugar, oil that were condemned over a year ago but never destroyed waiting monkey business of clandestine re-rest what was riddled with poisonous metals and substances becoming even more compliant and pure than when in laboratory undergoing condemnation,” Kinoti said in a statement.

Last year, joint parliamentary committee on Trade and Agriculture probing contraband sugar in Mombasa heard that over one million tonnes of sugar valued at Sh59 billion was imported in to the country last year.

A gazette notice issued by the state allowed individual to import sugar to mitigate expected shortage of the commodity.

17 warehouses holding thousands of bags of sugar were closed down during a national crackdown on contraband sugar on June 2018.