•The United Kingdom promises to share intelligence on car theft syndicate with Kenya
•The Kenya Revenue Authority recently seized nine high-end vehicles stolen from the UK
The drive against the smuggling of high-end vehicles is becoming easier after the United Kingdom started sharing intelligence reports with Kenya.
Recently the Kenya Revenue Authority seized nine high-end vehicles that had been stolen from the UK following information sharing with the British High Commission.
The vehicles were seized at the port of Mombasa en route to Uganda. They had been declared as low-value vehicles. In some cases, they were disguised as used household goods.
On Wednesday, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey witnessed the inspection and verification of the containers that had been intercepted at the port with the stolen vehicles.
“We will work together with our colleagues in Kenya, sharing information and intelligence to track down smuggled vehicles. They will also provide us with valuable information in tracking down these organised criminal gangs,” Hailey said in Mombasa.
The Sh200 million vehicles were six Range Rover Sports, a Land Rover Discovery, a BMW X5, and a Mercedes Benz GLE350d.
They will now be shipped back to their rightful owners in the UK.
Hailey commended KRA for tracing the vehicles and ensuring that they are returned to their owners.
“We know that organised crime works across continents and, as we have seen here these cars, very high-end vehicles worth several thousands of dollars, were stolen from UK by criminal gangs and smuggled into Kenya destined for Uganda and may be for sale to other regions,” the envoy said.
KRA Regional Coordinator for Southern Region Nichola Kinoti said the last two containers were trailed for two months.
“The importers have gone under, but we are working with the British government and our security agencies to ensure we arrest those behind this syndicate,” Kinoti said.
Two of the seized vehicles had their chassis numbers cloned to conceal their status.
“The seizure at the port is a result of close collaboration between KRA and its local and international law enforcement partners. In particular, KRA has worked closely with the British High Commission in Kenya, through information and intelligence exchange, to disrupt the stolen vehicle smuggling syndicate,” Kinoti said.
KRA Commissioner of Intelligence Githii Mburu said they are collaborating with other agencies locally and in the UK to stamp out high-value stolen vehicles crime at Kenyan and UK ports.
“As a major step, we are working to repatriate the seized vehicles to the origin country for the law enforcement purposes and for the eventual return to the rightful owners,” he said.