15th May, 2019
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has seized a consignment of smuggled ethanol, declared as imported spaghetti at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi, Nairobi.
The consignment was imported from The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and had an assessed tax value of KShs. 15 Million. It was concealed in four – 20 foot containers that had arrived at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) operated ICD last month.
Speaking after confirming the mis-declaration, KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner Mr Kevin Safari said that KRA officers working on routine non-intrusive surveillance duty had successfully managed to isolate the contraband ethanol shipment. The 57, 600 litres of ethanol, was neatly filled in 288 drums before being loaded into the four shipping containers.
Mr Safari said that as the consignment was being passed through the advanced cargo X-ray scanner at the ICD, some discrepancy was detected, leading to a physical inspection of the container earlier on Tuesday 14th May, 2019.
“The officers at ICD, in conjunction with the Integrated Scanner Management team at the Command Centre in Times Towers, positively identified the concealed goods in the containers,” Mr Safari said, adding that, “The containers imported by Erikan Holdings Limited had been masked with a total of 10, 600 packages of spaghetti.”
KRA officers in conjunction with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched a probe against the importers and the clearing agents. The clearing agent had his SIMBA licence suspended on 9thMay 2019. Upon being contacted by KRA, he said that he had lost contact with the owner of the consignment.
As part of the KRA corporate transformation agenda, KRA has implemented an Integrated Scanner Management Solution which is part of the ongoing rollout of the Integrated Scanner Management System (iCMS). It interconnects all cargo scanners at Ports of entry to a central command centre at Times Towers, form where enforcement decisions are coordinated.
The implementation of the iCMS is part of KRA’s revenue enhancement initiatives (REI), geared towards providing 100% non-intrusive verification of imported cargo, ensuring faster clearance and intelligence driven physical verification.