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2 under probe over sugar, rice importation cartel

The repackaging is believed to be taking place in godowns located at the Shimanzi area/FILE

MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan 11 – Senior detectives in Mombasa are questioning two Kenyans believed to be aiding a cartel involved in tax evasion through illegal importation of rice and sugar from Pakistan.

The two are assisting in ongoing investigations against 11 Pakistani nationals captured during a raid in Kizingo and Nyali estates on Tuesday.

The 11 were arrested after an intelligence report surfaced of their unlawful presence in the country.

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has asked for 10 days to enable police complete investigations to facilitate the charging of the suspects in court.

The police are also probing them to establish if they are linked to the funding of terrorism activities and money laundry, Yamina Jami from the DPP said.

Mombasa police commandant Johnston Ipara said the detectives are investigating if the foreigners are engaging in money laundering and drug trafficking.

“We are still interrogating the suspects, we suspect they are illegally in Kenya and carrying out commercial activities without permits,” Ipara said.

Senior police officer leading the operation said Kenya authorities raided residences of the foreigners within Kizingo area.
“None could give a satisfactory account of their status in Kenya,” Ipara said.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Kenya Revenue Authority are also investigating two companies according to a top detective.

“The locals are working in cahoots with the foreigners to register companies, processing of working permits for the foreigners who are engaging in unlawful activities in the country,” said an officer who pleaded to remain anonymous.

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Preliminary reports indicate the foreigners repackage the imported rice and sell into subsidized prices, affecting local dealers.

The repackaging is believed to be taking place in godowns located at the Shimanzi area.

“They use Mombasa as a dumping site and deny KRA millions in tax,” an officer said.

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