Detectives turn the heat on ‘Big fish’ in the war on contraband

June 23, 2018 1:18 pm
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The fertilizer was imported to the country from Morocco by OCP Kenya Ltd but was let in the country, despite failing to meet KEBS standards/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23- The Government has scaled up the war on corruption with a glimmer of hope that the ‘big fish’ will also face charges away from the tradition where only junior officials have been sacrificed.

On Friday, detectives arrested Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing Director Charles Ongwae, KEBS Director of Quality Assurance Eric Chesire, Chief Manager Inspection Eric Ochieng and 7 other senior individuals for approving the importation of substandard fertilizer and fake Import Standardization Mark (ISM MARK).

Also on police radar includes KEBS Inspection Manager Peter Kinyanjui, Regional Manager, and Coast Region Martin Muswanya Nyakiamo.

The fertilizer was imported to the country from Morocco by OCP Kenya Ltd but was let in the country, despite failing to meet KEBS standards.

The fertilizer according to the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji was weighing 5, 846,000 kilograms, “which upon testing failed to meet the standard set by KEBS VIDE KS158:2012 and was therefore declared rejected.”

The company, DPP Haji revealed appealed against the first testing, whereupon a re-testing was done by KEBS.

“The compound fertilizer failed to meet the standard yet again,” the DPP said, in a statement sent to Newsroom.

But despite all that, the fertilizer was released into the market as opposed to destruction or re-shipping to the country of origin.

DPP has, as a result, recommended several offences against KEBS officials led by MD Ongwae, Chesire, Inspection Manager, Kilindini Port Peter Kinyanjui, Regional Manager Coast Region Martin Muswanya Nyakiamo and Pole Mwangeni, Port Health Officer Kilindini.

The will face attempted murder, aiding the commission of a felony, abuse of office, breach of office and selling substandard goods, charges.

DPP has also trained guns on OCP (K) Ltd officials, who will also face similar charges.

They are; Karim Lofti Senhadji (Director), Makila Klrama (Director), Younes Addou (Director) and OCP(K) Ltd importer.

-Import Standardization Mark Case-

DPP says the Import Standardization mark procured by KEBS from M/s Madras Private Security Ltd was found to be unfit for the purpose of “monitoring and control of imported commodities into the market.”

This is despite the firm’s commitment to deliver and supply high-quality security features standardization mark, “complete with traceability to KEBS database.”

“This was meant to protect local industry from unscrupulous traders in order to provide a fair business environment.”

Haji, in the statement, laments that the mark supplied has been found prone to photocopying, scanning and misuse by unscrupulous traders, as a result defeating the purpose of its procurement.

KEBS committed the Government to a payment of over Sh800 million for the supply of the standardization mark for over a period of 3 years.

KEBS officials and directors of Madras Security Printers Private Ltd will face these charges; conspiracy to defraud, breach of trust, abuse of office and cheating.

KEBS officials to face the charges are Ongwae (MD), Chesire (Tender Committee member, KEBS), Ochieng (Tender Committee member, KEBS), Eric Kimutai Kirui (Tender Committee member, KEBS), Catherine Jepchieng Bowen (Tender Committee member, KEBS), Robin Shake (Tender Committee member, KEBS) Roda Olesi Kirui (procurement officer) and John Murungi Rukaria (Manager, Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards).

The directors of the security firm facing the charges are; Prathap Singh, Rajah Sunder Singh, Arul Prathan Singh, Sam Prasad, Asir Prathan Singh, Suseela Rajah, Panmani Prasad, Ramachandran Nataarajan and Madras Security Printers Ltd.

“My office is preparing to have the various suspects arraigned in court to answer to the charges,” the DPP assured.

Already, he revealed a red notice has been issued against accused people who are outside the country, as “my officer embarks on the application of international warrants of arrest in order to commence the process of extradition.”

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