A joint operation that left 6 suspects nabbed has seen the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Police seize 550 bags of unaccustomed sugar worth approximately Sh 2 Million in Bungoma.
Branded Lugazi, the sugar is believed to have been smuggled from Uganda. KRA officers were acting on intelligence when they arrested the suspects at the home of one of the suspects located at Sikata, off Kimilili road in Bungoma County.
Contrary to the East African Community Customs Management Act, the accused are suspected to have been smuggling and repackaging the sugar after KRA also confiscated empty bags believed to be used for repackaging.
A total of 117 bags of sugar packed in Butali Sugar Mills Ltd bags were found in one of the suspect’s shops based in Malaba –Webuye highway. The accused were detained at Bungoma Police Station awaiting to be arraigned in court on October 30.
Six months ago, Sugar cane stakeholders from Western Kenya asked Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority to come clear on reports of unlicensed and illegal sugar imports in the region.
The farmers, millers claim there have been incidences of unlicensed importation of sugar from neighbouring Uganda before the custom window was opened.
Farmers have cited Bungoma, Mukenya, Masbrago, New Adatia, Mahdhav, Kiminini, Wananchi Stores, Super Store Minimax, Misiku, Kitale, Charangani and Jaralam as some of the areas the imports can be traced to. The stakeholders expressed fear that the illegal sugar has already flooded markets in Western and Nyanza regions.