A police officer has been implicated in the smuggling of a container at Mombasa port after the disappearance of Sh13 million container.
The container number CRXU 9899488 was imported from Uganda and cleared by Liberty Freighters Ltd and has been traced to premises allegedly belonging to Kangundo DCIO, Wanderi Mwangi.
Wanderi however said the premises belonged to his father-in-law and the container was imported by his former wife. The officer, who recorded a statement at Vigilance House a week ago, said his former wife Caroline Munga, bought the container from a Rwandese businesswoman, who is also happens to be suspect in the container theft.
But when Munga denies the claims, saying she is being dragged into a business rivalry. Geoffrey Ogolla, a director of Liberty Freighters said the container left the Mombasa port for Kampala through Malaba town after clearance on June 13th , but disappeared along the way. Police said already seven people have been arrested.
"We entered into a transport agreement with the purported owner of the truck, Zabib Transporters after confirming that the truck KAX723R/ ZC6169 had a valid transit goods license," said Ogolla. Port police deputy OCPD Benjamin Rotich said officers and the owners of the consignment went to search in Nairobi.
He however denied involvement of police officers in the smuggling syndicate adding that police are not part of the documentation but only come in at the counterchecking stage. "The file to the case was still open. There is no way police officers can steal the containers. About Kangundo DCIO, that is a different case and he recorded the statement," said Rotich.
Records show that Christopher Makau, the truck driver, the Rwandese business lady Nyamai, Patrick Mulinge, Gilbert Mwasia Kioko, Jerome Mutuku Lucas, Benjamin Mutinda Kivindu and Patrick Mwangi Maina have been linked to the incident. According to police Makau, gave a fake name-Kithome Augustine Wambua and had two driving licences and is on remand at Shimo la Tewa.
The driver and the owner of the vehicle allegedly later revealed that the truck transporting the cargo had its registration number as KAZ 580W contrary to the one it had while leaving the port (KAX723R/ ZC6169). Ogolla further claimed that the suspect, allegedly admitted having been part of a cartel that smuggles cargo out of the port. "The driver confided to me that between the months of May and June he has managed to steal 7 containers and on each container he was paid Sh150, 000," Ogolla said.