The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers on Friday seized 144 drums of imported Ethanol at the Port of Mombasa, which had been misdeclared as 1000 bags of cement.
The Customs officers have also seized another high end motor-vehicle, a Range Rover Sports suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom which had been declared as second hand, window frames, doors, folding chairs, stools and wall pictures.
According to KRA Commissioner of Customs and Border Control, Kevin Safari, the Ethanol was imported in two by twenty feet containers while the vehicle was in a twenty-foot container.
Safari said: ‘’the two were intercepted following intelligence reports. They were scanned through KRA’s non-intrusive scanners and the images showed inconsistency with what had been manifested.’’
He said a multi-agency team led by KRA undertook 100% verification on the consignment and confirmed that the three containers were indeed carrying 28,800 liters of concealed ethanol and a Range Rover.
The drums with a capacity of 200 litres each were concealed in 285 boxes of spaghetti at the entrance of the containers to prevent law enforcers from detecting the ethanol.
The importation of ethanol is restricted with only licensed firms and dealers being allowed to import the product to reduce the manufacturing of illicit alcohol.
Ethanol attracts an excise duty rate of sh.6 million per 20-foot container and had the smugglers succeeded, the authority could have lost at least sh.12 million in taxes.
Safari said according to the manifest, the consignor for the high-end vehicle is in Dubai, UAE while the consignee is in Kampala, Uganda. The vehicle’s country of origin is the United Kingdom.
By Mohamed Hassan