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KRA, Kebs officials charged over imports of expired rice

Monday September 24 2018

Kenya Ports Authority employees

Kenya Ports Authority employees face charges of allowing substandard fertiliser and rice to be imported into the country through the Port of Mombasa, at Milimani Law Courts, on September 24, 2018. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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More than 10 employees of the Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards were today charged with allowing importation of substandard goods.

The accused - who included KRA chief manager of container freight stations Kiprono Cole Bullut and customs head verification officer David Njagi Mbogori - were arrested in Mombasa over imports of expired rice, substandard potassium nitrate fertiliser, adult diapers and tyre tubes.

They appeared before chief magistrate Francis Andayi where they denied conniving to commit an offence, wilful disobedience to statutory duty, abuse of office and neglect of duty.

Mr Bullut and Mr Mbogori were jointly accused of scheming to release a consignment of substandard Thai white rice to a company known as IGSAR group Kenya Ltd.

The rice was repackaged in the high seas and sold off as Kenyan rice in shop shelves.

FERTILISER
The offences relating to importation of expired rice were allegedly committed on or about December 2017 in Mombasa County.

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The court also heard that on June 30, Mr Bullut allowed the clearance of substandard fertiliser to Elgon Kenya Ltd at the container terminal freight station.

Between March 6 and 26, the court was further told that Mr Bullut and Mr Michael Lukhobia Juma, a customs head verification officer, released tyre tubes and flaps to Tire World Ltd.

Mr Bullut was further accused of unlawfully releasing substandard adult diapers to Harleys Kenya Ltd between May 15 and June 7.

SUSPECTS
Other accused who appeared in court are Kebs inspectors Peter Kinyanjui and Joseph Bojo, port health officer Mwangemi Pole Dima and clearing agents Roy Francis Mwanthi, Moses Ngoka Yaa, Zainab Taibali and Felix Makau Simon.

Others are Bimal Kantaria, Baiju Kantaria, Iqbal Osman, Irene Githendu, Peter Mwadziwe Nzui, Elimius Ambane, Rupen Shah, Bassam Iskander, Ahmed Ashkir, Suresh Naran and Bhavin Aswin.

Other companies mentioned in the case are Habiba, Sahel Clearing and forwarding, Inland Logistics, Kiamba clearing and forwarding, and Speedex Clearing.

The accused were granted separate bonds pending the hearing on November 15.