800 bags of impounded contraband sugar have been destroyed in Mombasa in an exercise supervised by the Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata.
Elungata said the illegal sugar seized from unscrupulous small-scale traders in the seaside city was worth Sh.4 million.
“The sugar that we had destroyed today has an estimated value of Sh.4 million had it been sold in our local market” he said.
He said the sugar packed in 50 kg bags would have been sold at very low prices therefore stifling growth in the local sugar industry.
The regional administrator said the latest destruction at the Kibarani dumpsite follows in the footsteps of another consignment of contraband sugar seized from wholesale markets in January this year.
“Early this year we destroyed sugar worth Sh. 14 million seized from wholesale markets and supermarkets across the coastal city” he said adding that the illegal trade was benefiting individuals who are out to destroy the country’s economy by evading paying taxes.
He said the sugar is mostly imported from foreign countries but unscrupulous traders were packing it in bags indicating it was imported from neighbouring countries.
The RC said a multi-agency team comprised of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), National Police Service (NPS|), Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and other relevant state agencies are working round the clock to rid the region of expired and contraband goods.
“We are confident that with the close working relationship between the various state agencies we are going to win the war on contraband” he said.
He said the destruction is meant to send a strong signal to all those taking part in smuggling of goods through porous borders that the government is on high alert.
“We are on the lookout for smugglers and dishonest traders who have continued to take part in dirty businesses despite repeated warnings”, he said, warning that the war against contraband goods would continue unabated.
Elungata has warned traders in the region to stop patronising smuggled and prohibited goods to avoid prosecution and having their business premises closed.
He said measures to tame smuggling at the border points were bearing fruit, noting that a number of traders suspected to be involved in smuggling had been arrested and charged in the recent past.