BUSIA – Police in Kenya has seized bags of contraband sugar valued at approx KSh1.5 million (UShs563m).
The illegal goods which were packed in bags are suspected to have been smuggled into Kenya from Uganda through the porous border, the Daily Nation reported Monday.
Wambua Katithi, Busia County Commander said 68 bags of the sweetener were found at a warehouse at Bulanda on the outskirts of Busia while 20 others were confiscated in Butula.
“We have arrested one suspect in Bumala who was transporting 20 bags of sugar in a Probox to an unknown destination. In total, we have impounded 88 bags each weighing 50kgs,” Mr Katithi said.
“We have impounded three Probox cars whose owners are still on the run. Other goods we have impounded include Waragi brand and other illicit liquor from Uganda.”
Mr Katithi warned that the war against contraband goods would continue, adding that police had already changed tact to deal with lawbreakers.
The said sugar is also believed to be part of the imported sugar from Brazil.
The seizure comes days after furious President Yoweri Museveni ordered Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to immediately close a sugar bond containing sugar imported from Brazil.
Museveni said that as a result of Brazilian sugar hitting the Kampala market, it has left the neighbouring countries sceptical of Uganda’s capacity to supply the East African region with enough sugar, given the fact that the country has allowed a ‘Sugar Bond’ in her territory.
He said that the regional members have been thrown into doubt whether the sugar coming from Uganda is really Ugandan or is part of the so-called ‘Bond Sugar’ imported from foreign sources.
“More importantly, I now direct that working with the Attorney General this ‘Sugar Bond’ should be immediately closed, never to be reopened again. Who is operating this Sugar Bond in any case? I really want to know who they are and who allowed them?”
Museveni’s letter came at a time when Kenya and Uganda were hit by reports that poisonous sugar had hit their markets. The report originated from Kenya and consequently, the government banned the importation of sugar outside the East African region.