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Police net 2.7 tons of suspected contraband sorghum

Investigations into the origin of suspected 2.7 tons of contraband sorghum is underway in Marsabit as the government tightened the knot to curb revenue loss along the porous border with a neighbouring country.

Marsabit County Police Commander Mr Samuel Mutunga said the lorry loaded with 343 bags of 50-kilogram sorghum was intercepted in Marsabit town last night and two suspects arrested following a tip off.

Mutunga said that the owner of the consignment told the police that the commodity with an estimated value of Sh 976,500 was from his farm fields in Hurri Hills in North Horr Sub-county which he was transporting to the Market in Meru.

The County Police Commander added that the claim was suspicious as no such farming takes place in the semi-arid Sub-county adding that police suspected that the commodity was smuggled from a neighbouring country and was being ferried to beer brewing companies in the country.

Marsabit County police commander Samuel Mutunga briefs the press on the impounding of 2.7 metric tons of sorghum. To his right is the Marsabit Central Sub-county Deputy Police Commander David Muthuri. Photo by Sebastian Miriti

Mutunga said that the police were also exploring the possibility of the netted cereal to have been stolen relief food. Marsabit County was currently reeling under famine after a severe prolonged drought.

“This is a three angle pronged case and we shall explore all of them in order to unearth the truth for appropriate action to be taken against the suspects,” said the commander.

He said that illegal imports could not be allowed into the country because it robs the country the much needed revenue in foreign exchange.

The police were suspecting that some narcotics were hidden in the cereal cargo but only a bale of clothing material popularly known as dera was discovered when the offloading was done at the Marsabit Central Police Station.

The truck driver and the conductor were arrested and are assisting the police with investigations.

According to the County Police Commander, the Kenya Revenue Authority Office at the Moyale border point had no information concerning the seized goods.

The commodity which was seemingly packaged in sacks bearing the writings of Egyptian Sugar could have easily passed for a relief food commodity.

The commander cautioned that should it turn out that the commodity was a portion of the relief food it would be equal to insulting the compassionate gesture of the donors to the starving in the region.

By Sebastian Miriti

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