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Dealer who diverted missing condemned sugar arrested at JKIA

Among those sent home to pave way for the investigations are attached to the KEBS, KRA, National Police Service, and Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei on Wednesday last week announced the suspension of the said public officers.

He added that President William Ruto had been briefed on the irregular and criminal release of condemned sugar that had been earmarked for conversion into industrial ethanol.

“It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid,” reads the statement in part.

“It is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm,” he added.

The suspended officials include those from KEBS the Managing Director Lt Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, Dr Geoffrey Muriira (Director of Quality Assurance and Inspection), Hilda Keror (Manager Inspection, Mombasa Port Office), Liston Lagat (Assistant Manager, ICDN Nairobi), Stephen Owuor (Principal Officer), and Peter Olima Joseph (Inspector, Mombasa).

Those affected in KRA include Joseph Kaguru, Mwanja Masinde, Stephen Muiruri, Moses Okoth, Doris Mutembei, Chacha Hondo, Carol Nyagechi and Derick Kago.

The consignment of 20,000 bags of sugar each weighing 50kgs had been imported into the country in 2018 by Merako Investments Limited from Harare, Zimbabwe but was condemned by KeBS for want of expiry date specification.

It was later decided that the consignment be converted for industrial ethanol use, which was to be implemented under the joint supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), within a multi-agency framework.

According to the probe, after KEBS condemned the sugar, it was taken to a go-down in Makongeni, Thika awaiting disposal orders.

According to KEBS guidelines, goods that do not conform to the Kenyan standards or approved specifications cannot be permitted into the country and should be re-shipped, returned, or destroyed at the expense of the importer.

Source: The Star

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