Kenya: KRA Officials Intercept Smuggled Ethanol Declared As Spaghetti

Kenya Revenue Authority's (KRA) Customs and Border Control unit has intercepted a consignment of smuggled Ethanol declared as imported spaghetti at the Inland Container Depot Nairobi.

The consignment, imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an assessed tax valued of more than Sh15 million had been concealed in four-20 foot containers that had arrived at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) operated Inland Container Depot last month.

This comes at a time when some KRA employees in Nairobi and Mombasa are under investigations for aiding unscrupulous businessmen to smuggle goods and evade tax.

ARRESTED

Some of the employees have been arrested and questioned by the Directorate of Criminal investigations, DCI, while the authority over the weekend terminated employment for some of them.

After unearthing the consignment at the ICD KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner, Mr Kevin Safari, said his officers on routine non-intrusive surveillance duties had successfully managed to identify and isolate the contraband Ethanol shipment.

The 57,600 litres of Ethanol had been neatly filled in 288 drums before loading in the four shipping containers.

Mr Safari said the authority used advanced Cargo X-Ray scanners at the ICDN and detected discrepancies, leading to a physical inspection of the containers earlier on Wednesday.

CONCEALED GOODS

"The officers at ICDN near Athi River in conjunction with the team at the Integrated Scanner Management Solution command centre at our Time Towers headquarters positively identified the concealed goods in the containers," Mr Safari said.

He added that the containers were imported by Ms Erikan Holdings Limited had been masked with a total of 10,600 packages of spaghetti.

Following the discovery, KRA officers in conjunction with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched a probe against the importers and the clearing agent.

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