KRA impounds ethanol declared as spaghetti
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 16:32
By STELLA CHERONO
The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized a shipment of smuggled ethanol declared as imported spaghetti at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi.
The consignment was intercepted by the KRA Customs and Border Control unit on Wednesday.
Imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an assessed tax value of more than Sh15 million, the consignment 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.
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.
KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner, Mr Kevin Safari while speaking after the unearthing of the consignment at the ICD, 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 that detected discrepancies, leading to a physical inspection of the containers.
“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.