Police have launched a manhunt for a businessman accused of importing contraband worth Ksh17 million via the Mombasa Port.
According to the police, the businessman vanished after the goods, alleged to be insecticides, were confiscated by the Kenya Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) officials.
Speaking to the press on Friday, Fredrick Muchiri, PCPB chairman, explained that the 22-tonne cargo container arrived in the country from China.
Following an inspection conducted by PCPB officials, the products were, however, found to be hazardous to humans and the environment at large.
A photo of the busy Mombasa Port in Mombasa County, Kenya
“These are toxic substances and they are meant to kill, they have no indications, and it has not been verified, nobody knows what it is, we are only finding them here,” Fredrick Muchiri chairman of PCPB stated.
The cargo has since been moved to the port storage facility as the board moves to ascertain the product and prevent it from entering the Kenyan market.
“We have experienced some little consignments of the same, but this one is one of the major imports that we targeted for verification,” Stanley Ng’ang’a, an inspector at PCPB added.
The board also raised concerns over unlicensed traders especially hawkers who are targeted to supply the flagged products to unsuspecting consumers.
“If you move around Likoni, you will find hawkers with bits of products, that are illegal but we are still looking for the big fish,” Muchiri clarified.
He further warned that the board would launch a crackdown on hawkers found selling counterfeit items on the streets.
Muchiri, however, clarified that in case the importer of the goods was untraceable, the cargo would be shipped back to the country of origin.
Kenya’s Customs and Exercise Act requires one to declare the type of goods they intend to bring into or out of the country and is thus subjected to inspections.
“The owner of the goods prior to exportation gave notice thereof in writing to the proper officer and produced the goods for inspection by him at the port or place from which they were exported.”
A photo of Port of Mombasa at night.
Kenya Ports Authority