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KRA seize 3 top cars worth Sh.28M declared as used mattresses at Mombasa Port

By Philip Mwakio | March 30th 2016
KRA officers inspects one of the three vehicles which were impounded by the Kenya Revenue Authority officers loaded in a container after the importer had declared them as used Mattresses. [PHOTO:GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

MOMBASA: Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has intercepted containers loaded with three top cars disguised as baby toys at the Port of Mombasa.

KRA said the cars were declared as baby walkers and used mattresses.

KRA Commissioner of Customs, Julius Musyoka said the three vehicles a two Range Rover and one Mercedes Benz with a combined value of Sh.28million.

He said that had importer successively sneaked them from the port the government would have lost tax of sh8.5million.

"The vehicles were concealed in a cargo container, loaded with baby walkers and used mattresses, earlier shipped from the United Kingdom.

"This, would have caused the government to lose sh.8.5million in tax revenue had the hawk eyed, KRA officials who scanned the 40 ft. container number: MRKU2024181 failed to spot the carefully concealed cargo," said Mr Musyoka.

He said that the importer, a Mr Saidar Muteweta of London (UK) had declared the goods as personal effects and household goods which were destined to a consignee in Uganda, a Mr Abubakari Sekimwanyi.

All the three motor vehicles were Tuesday detained at the Customs Warehouse for safe custody.

"KRA is liaising with the relevant agencies such as Interpol, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Regional Intelligence Liaisons Office (RILO) as part of an elaborate investigative effort," said Musyoka.

Journalists were present at the KRA Bonded Custom warehouse inside the Port where a 20 feet container was ripped open to reveal its high value cargo.

Musyoka said the interception by the Customs and Border Control Unit was as a result of stricter checks and clearance procedures for all import and export cargo passing through the port as KRA seeks to seal all revenue leakage loopholes.

"We are treating this case with the seriousness it deserves. The concealed vehicles units are non-costumed goods and are therefore liable to forfeiture," Musyoka said.

The consignors, if found liable for customs offences and international crimes, will be charged.

The second container whose seals were broken yesterday had registration number HLBU 1231204 and had been shipped into the Port on March 14th 2016 from the UK with supplier listed as Rennie Musisi and consignee Mr Robert Musisi.

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