Poisonous sugar is not ours, West Kenya Sugar Company says

Some of the contraband sugar netted in Western Kenya. [File, Standard]

West Kenya Sugar Company has come out to dispute claims that Kabras sugar is unfit for human consumption.

In a statement to newsrooms, the company said their sugar surpasses all the requisite quality standards, refuting claims it owned sugar seized by government agencies in Eastleigh.

"We further wish to confirm that West Kenya Sugar Company Limited was NOT the proprietor of the sugar reportedly seized by Government Authorities at Eastleigh in Nairobi on 5th June 2018," the statement read.

Managing Director Tejveer Rai said they always provide unfettered access to government inspectors to all their facilities both in Kakamega factory and storage sites in Nairobi, Nakuru and Webuye.

Rai added that they test all sugar imported before putting it in the market.

"Samples of sugar that we imported are currently undergoing testing and we have no doubt that the results will confirm the integrity of our products and serve to counter the inaccurate, unsupported and alarming reports that are being circulated in the media," he said.

Earlier this month police seized 2,000 bags of sugar in a warehouse Eastleigh and pronounced it unfit for human consumption.

According to police the sugar was imported from Brazil and was mixed with mercury and copper elements making it poisonous.

Reports say the sugar was to be transported to Mumias and Kabras sugar factory for refining and repackaging.

"As you can see the sugar is branded not fit for direct human consumption but these traders have been repackaging it and selling to unsuspecting members of the public," Flying Squad boss Musa Yego said.

Since then crackdown of contraband sugar has been going on the country the latest case being the 12 tonnes seized by KRA officials Eldoret yesterday.

Elsewhere, police seized contraband sugar in Ol Kalou town that was being repackaged by employees in the National Cereals and Produce Board stores.

The operation was led by Central Regional CID Officer Danson Ndilu.

Ndilu said police received a tip off that some contraband goods were hidden in the stores.

"The members of the public gave us the tip off and we sent our officers to the stores. That is where we found the employees of the supermarket repackaging the contraband sugar. We arrested them and they will be arraigned in court," Ndilu said.

Other 588 bags of the sugar have been found in a warehouse in Matuu, Machakos County.

The whole process of fight against counterfeit goods has been politicized with the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Farancis Atwoli threatening to name and shame legislators allegedly involved in cheap sugar smuggling scam. 

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