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Police impound Sh300m contraband commodities

George Kebaso and Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Police in Nairobi and Bungoma yesterday impounded commodities valued at more than Sh300 million destined for the local market in tax evasion as the government steps up the anti-graft war.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) made a simultaneous raid on two premises in Nairobi and Webuye during the operation.

At the Rai Paper Mills warehouses in Webuye, police impounded an estimated 2, 450 tonnes of sugar they described as unfit for human consumption packed in 59,000 50kg bags. They estimated the value of the sugar to be at Sh250 million.

 The sugar was packed in Kakamega’s West Kenya Sugar Company branded bags and labelled ‘Brown Sugar’ leading police to describe it as unfit for consumption.

Seven journalists from various media outlets were denied access into the Webuye factory.

 Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has warned that the government would intensify crackdown on contrabands. He pointed out that efforts are focused on dealing with the rising number of cartels across the country.

In Nairobi, detectives have commenced investigations to ascertain whether a company running a multimillion shilling tyre business has been evading payment of taxes.

Police, who raided the company’s yard in Eastleigh yesterday morning, unearthed what would be an innovative way of evading taxes by the proprietor of the business.

Led by Parklands Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer David Chebii, the police found out that four tyres are fitted into one helping the trader to pay tax for only one. He said the tyres impounded yesterday were worth Sh5 million.

According to Chebii, there is a possibility of malpractices at the customs tax division. He stopped short of accusing the customs officers of colluding with the traders.

 “It raises suspicions how one tyre could hold more than three without the customs officers detecting,” added Chebii.

 The tyres were impounded and taken to the DCI headquarters at Mazingira House in Muthaiga for commencement of investigations. They are estimated to have a value of Sh20 million or more.

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