Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has warned Kenyans of fraudsters purporting to sell cheap imported motor vehicles through the Port of Lamu.
In a statement on Thursday, May 18, the authority cautioned Kenyans interested in engaging in the motor vehicle import business to be on high alert for the scammers.
"The authority's attention has been drawn to complaints from some members of the public where unscrupulous individuals are defrauding unsuspecting Kenyans under the false pretext that there are several cheap imported vehicles and other machinery on sale at the Port of Lamu," KPA stated.
The scammers are said to be duping their target customers through online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Emails, and WhatsApp, where they negotiate for tempting deals.
The authority further stated that the Port of Lamu does not handle any motor vehicles or machinery as purported by the fraudsters.
KPA called on Kenyans to report any similar incidents for action to be taken.
"We further urge members of the public to report such people and entities who are out to swindle unsuspecting motor vehicle buyers to the nearest police station," the Ports Authority noted.
According to the latest report by the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, expenditure on imported road motor vehicles declined by 14.6 percent from Sh. 99.5 billion in 2021 to Sh. 85.0 billion in 2022.
Similarly, imports of motorcycles and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor; and structures and parts of structures of iron, steel, or aluminum also declined during the same period.
In March 2021, a Japanese trade agency also warned Kenyan buyers over rising fraud cases involving the importation of used motor vehicles from the East Asian country.
"Almost every week we get about two to three calls from Kenyan importers on claims of fraudulent dealings purportedly from Japan-based dealers," said Sotaro Nishikawa, Jetro executive director for the Nairobi office.
"Some importers are lured by low prices and send money overseas without confirming the sellers' trustworthiness and reliability, which leads to a high possibility of victimization because money sent to these tricksters/fraudsters cannot be recovered."