ILLEGAL BUSINESS

Six arrested as KRA seizes Sh2m illegal sugar

The sugar according to the agency would have been repackaged and sold locally

In Summary
  • The sugar was confiscated in the home of one of the six suspects arrested.
  • Also confiscated were empty sugar bags belonging to Butali Sugar, a local sugar miller.
Some of the bags containing the illegally imported sugar.
ILLEGAL SUGAR: Some of the bags containing the illegally imported sugar.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

KRA officials have arrested six people suspected of smuggling 550 bags of sugar into the country.

The Kenya Revenue Authority said the consignment branded Lugazi Sugar  is estimated at Sh2 million.

It is believed to have been smuggled from Uganda as Lugazi Sugar Factory is based in the country.

The officers were acting on intelligence when they arrested the six at the home of one of the suspects at Sikata, off Kimilili Road in Bungoma County.

KRA in a statement on Thursday said the suspects are believed to have been smuggling and repackaging the sugar, contrary to the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA), 2004.

Other items found in their possession were several empty bags suspected to be used for repackaging the product.

Another 117 bags of sugar packed in Butali Sugar Mills Ltd bags were found in one of the suspect’s shop located along the Malaba–Webuye highway.

The suspects were detained at Bungoma police station and will be arraigned on Friday, October 30.

KRA Western regional coordinator Mercy Njuguna in a press statement said the agency had stepped up border surveillance at all points of entry to curb  smuggling.

Multi-agency collaborations and intelligence sharing has also been enhanced to curb illicit trade, Njuguna said.

On September 10, 2018, KRA spearheaded the destruction of 728 bags of illicit sugar intercepted while being smuggled into the country through Wajir.

Another 3,000 bags of contraband sugar were impounded in Meru on June 18, 2018.

There has been a constant uproar in Kenya’s sugar growing regions over illegal importation of sugar into the country. Farmers and other stakeholders in the industry largely blame the outlawed imports for the collapse of the sugar sector in the country.

Edited by EKibii