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100 bags of contraband sugar seized in Taita Taveta

Sunday June 21 2020
SUGAR

Police and County Public Health officers destroy 153 bags of contraband sugar in Nakuru in 2018. Police in Taita Taveta have seized 100 bags of sugar. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LUCY MKANYIKA

At least 100 bags of contraband sugar have been seized by security officers on the Taveta-Holili border.

The illegal sugar was being smuggled out of the country to Tanzania by unscrupulous traders.

Taveta Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Mericho said they have intensified crackdowns against smuggling of sugar and cooking oil by corrupt traders.

Speaking in Taveta, the DCC said already eight suspects have been arraigned in connection to the illegal trade.   

MANDATORY QUARANTINE

Mr Mericho said the suspects, all boda-boda riders, were first placed under mandatory quarantine before being taken to court.

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This comes as smuggling of sugar between Kenya and Tanzania intensified due to increasing demand for the commodity in the neighbouring country.

The DCC said search for the owners of the sugar business is ongoing

Mr Mericho said traders are now required to account for all the bags of sugar they sell.

 “Every morning, chiefs and an officer from my office visit each trader to take stock of the bags of sugar in their stores. In the evening they must account for all bags sold," the DCC said.

The residents, who blamed the security agencies of doing little to tame the vice, had complained that the illegal trade could lead to the spread of coronavirus.

"We have heightened crackdown on this smuggling. We have put strategies in place and we are committed to arresting more people who are involved in the smuggling business,” he said.

County Commissioner Rhonda Onyancha said the national government officers are working tirelessly to ensure that residents adhere to President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive on border closure.

"We will not have mercy on those who are trying to sneak in and out of the country. We will quarantine them at their own cost then arraign them," she said.

He urged residents to work closely with security officers by reporting cases of lawlessness especially along the border.

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