Custom officials and police yesterday impounded a consignment of sugar worth more than Sh1 million at a godown in Shimanzi, Mombasa.This followed a directive by the government to deal with unscrupulous sugar barons.
According to the police, the brown sugar, that was repackaged in 200 bags of 50 kilos each, was illegally imported from Egypt.
Mombasa county CID boss Henry Ondiek said the sugar was seized as it was being offloaded from a 40-feet container at the godown on Wednesday night.
"We were tipped that a truck was offloading a consignment suspected to be sugar. Our officers raided the warehouse and detained the lorry but the driver escaped," said Ondiek. He said they have contacted custom officials to ascertain if the sugar was subjected to customs regulation.
The government has banned importation of sugar from non-Comesa members. This is aimed at reducing over-supply sugar which destabilises market prices.
Addressing the media at police headquarters in Mombasa, Ondiek said they are liaising with detectives at Kenya-Tanzania border in Lunga Lunga, Shimoni and Taita Taveta to stamp out the cartels.He said several unscrupulous traders are involved in the smuggling of cheap sugar from Tanzania.