Authorities at the Kenya-Uganda border on Monday seized ethanol worth Sh1 million that was destined for the Kenyan market through the Malaba entry point.
The consignment, in a white Canter truck, was in 24 plastic drums of 250 litres each labelled ethyl alcohol and was concealed under 54 bags of maize bran.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Kevin Safari disclosed that action by a multi-agency team comprising KRA officers, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards and the police led to the seizure of the contraband ethanol.
“Acting on intelligence, our officers managed to intercept the ethanol that was being smuggled into Kenya in a truck suspected to have originated from Uganda,” he said.
The driver of the truck is still at large after he fled and abandoned the vehicle upon realising he will be stopped at one of the checkpoints.
In 2015, KRA, in a public notice, introduced procedures to govern access, purchase, and importation of ethanol pursuant to the government’s initiative to combat illicit production and consumption of spirits.
According to Mr Safari, the move is aimed at controlling access to ethanol, a key component in the production of alcoholic drinks.
“KRA has made deliberate efforts to safeguard the borders and seal all revenue loopholes to ensure that there is a fair playing ground for all traders in the market,” he said.
He added that the multi-agency team is committed to fighting illicit trade and contraband goods at the border.
“The team urges members of the public to support its operations by providing crucial information that can help bring perpetrators to book.”