Flower firm under probe as 620 tones of foreign sugar nabbed in warehouse

A flower firm in Machakos County is under scrutiny after the government on Monday discovered 12, 400 sacks of imported sugar weighing 50 kilogram each stuffed in one of its warehouses.

The consignment was nabbed at the Prima Rosa flower farm located along the Nairobi-Mombasa road just a few kilometers from Athi River town, after security agents got a wind of the consignment whose country of origin is Brazil.

A multi-agency team led by Machakos County Commissioner (CC), Matilda Sakwa, County Director of Criminal Investigations, John Kirui and County Commander, Samuel Mukindia arrived promptly as investigations into the sugar, said to have been imported into the country in September last year got underway.

If investigations confirm the sugar to be contraband, then it would be the largest single consignment of illegal goods to be seized in the country to date.

Detectives from the Kenya the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) as well as those from the National anti-counterfeit Agency who were present are now expected to carry out a thorough probe into the consignment.

It has also emerged that the importer of the commodity is Express Kenya Limited, a clearing and forwarding company with its headquarters in Mombasa.

Sakwa said a comprehensive report concerning the incident would be known once the investigations were over including why the flower company allowed the sugar to be stored in their warehouse in the first place.

What caught our attention is the fact that Prima Rosa is a firm known to deal in flower farming in the country and now they are storing this colossal amount of sugar. We have to verify if the load was fit for human consumption and whether relevant clearances were conducted at the point of entry, Sakwa said.

The CC has similarly ordered police to seal off the warehouse as KEBS, KRA and the anti-counterfeit agency officers conduct verification exercise on the suspect sugar.

Two weeks ago, police seized another 2, 000 bags of illegally imported sugar from Mt. Kenya wholesalers in Matuu town in Yatta Sub County, Machakos County.

Source: Kenya News Agency