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Poison rice importers to face the law

By Cyrus Ombati and Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Tue, August 21st 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 20th 2018 at 22:14 GMT +3
The cereal was found in warehouses in Mombasa and there are fears some of it is already in the market.

Action will be taken against the importers of the expired rice that was impounded in Mombasa, the Director of Criminal Investigations has said.

George Kinoti, who led a team of detectives to the godown where the grain is being stored in what he described as ‘incognito storming’, said he was shocked that the owners were planning to dispose of the rice in the market.

“They have repackaged it into 25 and 50-kilogramme bags and were ready to release it to the market. Kenyans would have been the victims,” he said.

The detectives collected rice samples and said they would be sent to the Government Chemist for further analysis and tests.

The rice is being guarded in a warehouse behind Kibarani area. Mr Kinoti and his team arrived in unmarked vehicles and it is understood that he was told to go there in person to bear witness to the amount of rice seized.

Contraband goods

Kinoti also visited the Kenya Ports Authority offices and received a brief from detectives investigating the importation and undervaluation of contraband goods.

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He went to the DCI regional offices, where he was in meetings for the better part of the day.

The investigators have also confiscated more than 400 containers of 20kg jerricans of cooking oil from Malaysia, which, the Kenya Bureau of Standards said did not meet required standards.

A team of detectives working on a report compiled by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and Government agencies, including the National Intelligence Service (NIS), seized the goods last month.

The DCI said the rice, originally from Pakistan, had been condemned as unfit for human consumption but somehow found its way into Kenya. The consignment’s expiry date was marked as 2015 on the sacks.

Kinoti said the rogue importers were printing new bags that were transported to the high seas.

“There are about one million bags of rice stored in some warehouse in Mombasa. We believe some of the toxic rice may have been sneaked into the market.”

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