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Gov’t issues stern warning to smugglers

The government has warned rogue businessmen who are still involved in smuggling of contraband goods from neighbouring countries that stern action will be taken against them.

Speaking after witnessing the destruction of contraband goods that included milk powder that were seized in Garissa while on transit to Nairobi, Garissa County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said that the border remained closed.

Destruction of the contraband goods. Photo by Jacob Songok

The consignment is suspected to have been imported from the neighboring Somalia.

Cherutich said that stern action will be taken against anyone found smuggling contraband goods into the country noting that illicit goods were creating unnecessary competition in the market.

“We want to caution the few individuals who are still involved in this kind of illegal business that we are not going to tolerate this. Some of these products are not even fit for human consumption,” Cherutich said.

“That is why we are destroying them to send a clear message to all those dealing with illegal goods that their days are numbered,” he added.

While commending the security officers ‘for a job well done,’ the county commissioner said that the government will not relent in its effort to ensure that contraband goods do not get into the Kenyan market.

“I want to encourage our security officers to continue working round the clock as a multi-agency team to ensure that any contraband or unaccustomed goods are seized,” he said.

Cherutich who was accompanied by the county security team, officials from Kenya Bureau of Standard (KBS), KRA and customs and other state agencies said all state agencies will work closely to ensure substandard products that are potentially harmful to Kenyans don’t find their way into the country.

“We want to protect legitimate businesses who pay taxes to the government from unfair market competition,” he noted.

The milk powder recovered included nine boxes each containing six tins of 6.5 kgs and some 10 cartons of 200 sachets each weighing 50gms all valued at Sh 156,000.

Early this year, during a visit to Garissa, Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i instructed security agents in North Eastern region to deal ruthlessly with contraband trade.

Matiang’i said that contraband trade is hurting business in Kenya.

By Jacob Songok

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