Cane smuggling factories put on notice

Trucks at the Busia Customs office after they were intercepted by KRA officers and police. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]

Sugar factories in Busia have been put on notice over smuggling of cane from Uganda.

It is believed trucks loaded with cane from across the border have been sneaking into the country through illegal routes in Buteba and Alupe day and night.

On Tuesday, three trucks with cane from Uganda were impounded by a multiagency team comprising of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and the police.

By Friday the trucks were still parked at the Busia One Stop Border Post.

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County Commissioner Jacob Narengo said the truck drivers will be charged with smuggling and using ungazetted routes.

“Factories that want raw materials from Uganda must follow the due process by getting an approval from the relevant agencies,” he said.

Busia Sugar Industry denied smuggling sugarcane from Uganda.

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Public Relations Officer Stephen Siachire said the firm crushes raw material from its locally contracted farmers.

He said some of the farmers have farms on the border between Kenya and Uganda.

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“The allegation by some individuals that we are smuggling sugarcane could have resulted from seeing our tractors and other private trucks contracted by BSI to ferry cane from border areas on the Kenyan side,” stated the firm.

Kenya Association of Sugarcane and Allied Product national general secretary Peter Odima and Busia Outgrowers Company director Lambert Ogochi accused sugar factories of illegally importing raw material from across the border.

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Kenya Revenue AuthoritySugar Cane