State destroys 761 bags of fish smuggled from Somalia

Wednesday May 13 2020
fish

12 tones of smuggled fish from Somalia worth Sh5 million is destroyed by security agencies at the Hindi Grounds, Lamu West. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KALUME KAZUNGU

The government has destroyed a Sh5 million consignment of dried fish which was smuggled from Somalia.

The 761 bags of dried fish, which weighed about 12 tonnes, was recently nabbed by a multi-agency security team at Mokowe Jetty shortly after arriving from Mogadishu and Kismayu via Lamu's Kiunga border point.

The consignment was enroute to Mombasa.

The exercise to burn the contraband fish while the public watched took place at Hindi Grounds at the weekend and presided over by Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia and other top county security officials.

Other officials who witnessed the destruction of the dried fish included those from the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and officers from Immigration and Fisheries departments.

Mr Macharia gave a stern warning to businesspeople who have been sneaking into Somalia to conduct illegal trade.

Mr Macharia said they reached the decision to completely destroy the smuggled fish in order to serve as a lesson to other traders with similar intentions.

He categorically stated that the border between Kenya and Somalia is currently closed and that there should be no kind cross-border trade.

He also warned fishermen at Kiunga and Ishakani against sneaking into Somalia to conduct their activities.

“Today we’re here destroying 761 bags of dried fish which translates to 12 tonnes...We’ve seven suspects in custody. We will ensure they’re prosecuted. It’s an offense to conduct business in Somalia. The border is closed at the moment and those secretly engaging in cross-border trade are contravening the law. We will have you arrested and charged,” said Mr Macharia.