The Siaya County Police Commander (CPC), Francis Kooli, has called on the courts to consider ordering for the forfeiture of vehicles found transporting contraband goods to the state so as to curb the menace.
Kooli said that though the police in the county were doing their best to nab contraband and the dealers, low fines imposed by the courts and the release of the vehicles after payment of the fines was demoralising.
“The low fines imposed and the fact that the impounded vehicles are released to contraband dealers means that these people go back to their businesses immediately,” lamented Kooli who was speaking to the press in his office on Tuesday while flanked by the Siaya Sub County Police Commander, Justus Kucha.
He cited a case where one of the contraband dealers, famously known as Patel was arrested with a Toyota Probox full of outlawed “Waragi” satchet liquor from a neighbouring country but was slapped with a paltry sh. 80,000 fine.
“He paid promptly and took his vehicle and we understand he is back in the business,” said a dejected police boss adding that had the courts ordered for the forfeiture of the vehicle to the state, probably it would have taken the contraband dealer time to venture back into business.
Kooli however, said that his team will not relent in the war against illicit liquor and other contrabands despite the challenges.
He said that they are currently engaging the courts so that they could, as members of the governance, justice, law and order sector, come up with the best strategy to cushion the public against harmful contrabands.
By Philip Onyango