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Police arrest suspects in Bungoma ferrying 489 bags of sugar

WESTERN
By Micah Sali | October 1st 2021
Lorry nabbed by the police carrying contraband sugar from Uganda en route to Nakuru at Bungoma County police headquarters. [Micah Sali, Standard]

Police in Bungoma County have impounded 489 bags of contraband sugar on transit.

The officers, who were acting on a tip-off from the public, also arrested three suspects who were transporting the sugar suspected to have been smuggled from Uganda.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the sweetener, which was packed in 50kg bags, was destined for Nakuru County.

Bungoma DCI boss Elijah Macharia said the suspects, who are being held at Bungoma Central Police, will be arraigned once investigations are concluded.

The illegal sugar consignment was smuggled into the country through porous borders around Busia, according to Mr Macharia.

"The vehicle carrying the contraband sugar was seized by our officers at Sio in Kanduyi constituency as the suspects resorted to using panya routes that connect Kanduyi-Chwele-Kimilili and Kitale road," he said.

A multi-agency security team is already on the ground to establish how the sugar was smuggled into the country. The team comprises officers from the DCI, Customs and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

The arrests come barely a week after a suspected sugar smuggler died when police officers engaged goons who had attempted to free their accomplices arrested earlier at Shianda in Mumias town.

The seized consignment was being transported under tight security by officers from the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit and DCI.

“The lorry had been detained at Chwele Police Station in Bungoma from Thursday and was being escorted to Kisumu by our officers when goons blocked the road at Shianda shopping centre near Mumias using about 20 vehicles and motorbikes,” said Western regional police boss Peris Kimani.

She said the goons wanted to block the sugar consignment from being transported to Kisumu’s KRA offices for verification of the amount of tax the owners of the goods were supposed to pay.

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