Port officials on spot over expired diapers

PD Reporter @PeopleDailyKe

Several officials of the Port of Mombasa Port are on the spot after four tones of expired baby diapers were seized in Nairobi last Friday.

The latest seizure has once again put the spotlight on the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), clearing agencies and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) with questions lingering on how the diapers which pose a danger to health of babies could have been sneaked into the country.

It has emerged that the 4, 880 bales of diapers worth Sh38 million expired in February this year but were imported from China in September.

Six workers, who were repackaging the products at the Eens Go-down in Mlolongo, were arrested by detectives from Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters.

Police are trying to establish if the godown, situated along Mombasa Road, has any links with a leading haulage company.

The detectives said they are looking for the agency that cleared the cargo and the importer for questioning. The importer is a prominent transporter in the country.

Also wanted are the Kebs officials who inspected and cleared the products.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said preliminary findings had shown that six of the arrested workers were imposing fake Kebs stickers while erasing the expiry dates from the diapers.

DCI officers from Athi River who raided the godown on October 11, 2018 found the six workers using rubbers to erase the particulars of the expired dates and inserting in new fake dates of manufacture and expiry.

“They are killing our future generations with fake and expired products. We want to know how they got here,” he said.

He said detectives reacting to a tip off had to force their way into the godown where they found the workers busy.

Ezee pampers brand had been packaged in bales comprising of small, medium and large pampers.

The assorted China made brand had already been repackaged ready for sale when the officers raided the godown on Friday.

Other police sources indicated that the officers from Athi River who had confiscated the expired pampers received threats and intimidation from some senior officers at Vigilance House forcing them to halt the investigations.

But upon learning of the development, Kinoti is said to have instructed Parklands DCI officers led by Chief Inspector David Chebii and an Inspector Njoroge to raid the godown where they confiscated the goods. The case is now being handled by Parklands DCI.

Some senior officers at Vigilance House have allegedly been protecting the importer of the expired pampers over the years. Police are now looking for the owners of the godown and the importers while the six arrested workers are expected in court this morning.

Kinoti added they are investigating where some of the expired diapers had already found their way into the market. “It is possible and we urge Kenyans especially parents to always be keen when buying products,” he said.

The DCI boss said they are battling with cartels who are determined to flood the market with fake goods at the expense of Kenyans.

He warned any agency involved in clearing such goods will be punished. This is the latest seizure of contraband goods in a campaign that was kicked off four months ago.

In September, a consignment of contraband goods was destroyed in Athi River by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A special multi agency team has been set up to specifically deal with the menace after it emerged the counterfeit goods were robbing Kenyans of millions of shillings and jobs.

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