Forged documents lead cross-border crimes, says PS Omollo

President William Ruto during the homecoming party of Interior PS Raymond Omollo (right). [PCS]

About 40 per cent of cross-border crimes at Lwakhakha along the Kenya-Uganda border involve forged documents, the government has said.

According to Interior Principal Secretary, Raymond Omollo, the cross-border crimes at Lwakhakha and other porous border entry points in Busia and Bungoma counties has led to a decline in revenue collection.

Mr Omollo was speaking during an inspection tour at Lwakhakha border on Wednesday. The PS also noted that at least 21 percent of drugs trafficked including heroin, cannabis sativa, and cocaine are smuggled into the country through Lwakhakha border. 

He assured the locals that the government was committed to enhancing services at all entry points in order to increase revenue collection.

To address these issues, Omollo challenged the border management secretariat to create a master plan for the border's growth and operations.

According to the PS, the government will procure vehicles for police officers along the Lwakhakha to support the border operations.

Omollo said that the development of a master plan for the Lwakhakha border point will help address the current underlying issues even in the future rather than highlighting them without a proper follow-up.

“If we develop our own master plan to direct and guide the border operations, it will help address all concerns raised from today's conversations,” Omollo said.

Omollo urged officials from Kenya and Uganda to collaborate effectively to improve revenue collection.

The PS applauded the Lwakhakha border management for increasing revenue collection from Sh3.5 million to Sh356 million per year.

"Truck inspections rose from 22 to 600 trucks per day in the past one year," said Omollo.   According to Omollo, at least 15 percent of confiscated goods along the border were counterfeits and contraband consignments including sugar and pharmaceutical drugs.

Rispah Simiyu, the Acting Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) welcomed the government's efforts to enhance border services and underscored the need for the introduction of 24-hour operations.

She said scanners ought to be provided to help fast-track inspection of vehicles and goods at the border point.

“As Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), we are determined to promote a 24-hour operations at Lwakhakha border but we will need scanners o facilitate a faster inspection,” said Ms Simiyu.

Bungoma County Commissioner Thomas Sankei called for the expansion of the border in order to attract more investors and boost revenue collection.

Sankei said old entry border points including Chebukube where illegal businesses are prevalent deserve special attention.