KRA impounds 230 bags of smuggled sugar from Uganda
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers seized 230 bags of sugar with an estimated value of Ksh. 800,000 smuggled from Uganda to Kitale, Tranzoia county.
The sugar packed in bags labeled Lugazi, a manufacturer based in Uganda was being transferred by a group of men to a parked truck for repackaging into empty gunny bags branded butali sugar mills limited
KRA said the alleged owner of the smuggled sugar identified as Daniel Mwangi has been arrested and the truck with goods, transferred to Eldoret customs warehouse.
“The trucks and the consignment were transferred to Eldoret Custom’s warehouse,” KRA said.
Low priced sugar smuggled into the country has been blamed for the collapse of the sugar sector in the country.
Sugar accounts for nearly half of the goods smuggled across Kenya’s porous border points, a new report shows, turning the focus on illicit trading of the sweetener.
National Crime Research Centre data shows that 48 per cent of all incidents of smuggling involved sugar with about 789 cases reported over the last year.
Other popular products smuggled into the country include alcohol and illicit brews (28 per cent), illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin (25.2 per cent), cereals (23 per cent), clothes, shoes and handbags (12.8 per cent), charcoal/coal (12 per cent) and wheat and maize flour (11.3 per cent).
Sugar is mainly smuggled into the country through eight counties including Garissa, Kajiado Narok and Migori followed by Mandera, Kwale, Trans Nzoia and Busia.
“Kenya-Ethiopia and Kenya-Somalia borders are famous for sugar smuggled from Brazil. The bulk of the contraband sugar impounded in the country is smuggled through the Somalia border,” said the National Crime Research Centre in the study.
Kenya’s protectionist policies that seek to limit sugar imports have kept the prices of the commodity high, making it lucrative to import illegally.