Two arrested with 22,500 litres of methanol in Mlolongo

A team of multi-agency officials inspect a 40-feet trailer nabbed ferrying methanol at Mlolongo Weighbridge, Machakos County, December 17, 2018. /GEORGE OWITI
A team of multi-agency officials inspect a 40-feet trailer nabbed ferrying methanol at Mlolongo Weighbridge, Machakos County, December 17, 2018. /GEORGE OWITI

Police on Sunday intercepted 22,500 litres of methanol and arrested two men in Athi River on Mombasa Road.

The consignment packed in 90 drums of 250 litres each was nabbed after police inspected a truck loaded with a 40- feet container belonging to Tustas Tradeventure Limited at Sabaki.

Athi River police boss Sharma Wario said the driver was arrested by Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers.

He said the vehicle was enroute to Nairobi from Arusha, Tanzania.

“Yesterday (Sunday), DCI officers from Mlolongo police station intercepted a 40-feet container. They had gotten the information that the vehicle’s crew had documents which did not match the goods on transit,” said Wario.

He spoke to the Star after a 45 minute multi-agency meeting at Mlolongo Weighbridge where the trailer and consignment are being held.

Wario said the documentation indicate that the goods on transit wer 300 bags of maize.

“We called in multi-agency teams including provincial administration, police and other security agencies and KRA officials to jointly inspect the consignment at the Weighbridge. When we opened the container, we found a few bags of rice husks and 90 drums of methanol of 250 litres each, no maize,” Wario said.

“The driver is in police custody assisting in the investigations,” he added.

The police boss commended the public for sharing information with the police leading to the interception.

Methanol is a toxic, colourless, volatile flammable liquid alcohol, made chiefly by oxidizing methane.

Due to its toxic nature, Methanol is generally used as a denaturant additive for ethanol produced for industrial use.

Methanol has been blamed for causing deaths after unsuspecting customers consume alcoholic drinks laced with the toxic chemical.