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Alarm over contraband as packed lorry seized in Busia

Monday September 9 2019

Some of the products police in Busia County

Some of the products police in Busia County seized on September 8, 2019 in an operation against contraband goods. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA |NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GAITANO PESSA
By GAITANO PESSA
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Police in Busia on Sunday night seized a truck full of contraband goods that was destined for the Kenyan market.

County Police Commander John Nyoike on Monday stated that officers on patrol intercepted the vehicle at Matayos shopping centre, about 20 kilometres from the Busia border, along Busia-Kisumu road.

Upon inspection of the lorry, police found several boxes of banned cosmetics, pairs of shoes, plastic bottles and cups, utensils, toys, perfumes among other products that had not met tax requirement.

Busia contraband

The lorry and some of the products police in Busia County seized on September 8, 2019 in an operation against contraband goods. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

BORDER CHECKS

The police boss said the driver of the truck, who managed to dodge border checks, was arrested.

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“We have established that the truck gained entry into the country through an ungazetted route along the Kenya-Uganda border,” said Mr Nyoike.

Asked about the amount of money the government had lost in taxes, police said officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority would give the report.

He said that both police and KRA officers were yet to finish scrutinising the consignment.

Busia contraband

Some of the products police in Busia County seized on September 8, 2019 in an operation against contraband goods. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

MANY SETBACKS

Mr Nyoike admitted that the security department was still facing numerous challenges in efforts to tame rampant smuggling and insecurity along the border.

“The porosity of the border is still a big challenge but we are trying our best to ensure all ungazetted routes are monitored,” he said.

In June, National Environment Management Authority (Nema) raised the alarm over rising cases of the smuggling of plastic bags into Kenya, noting Uganda has not banned the products.

The porous border has remained a major route for smuggling counterfeit and illegal goods through Sofia, Marachi and Mayenje estates.

The state of the border in Busia and Malaba allows citizens of the two countries to cross over with ease thus derailing efforts to tame the vice.

Busia contraband

Busia County Police Commander John Nyoike displays some of the products they seized on September 8, 2019 in an operation against contraband goods. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA |NATION MEDIA GROUP