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MPs question disappearance of impounded containers

The parliamentary committee on Trade and Industry is probing how 139 40 feet containers of edible oil disappeared from a private Container Freight Station (CFS).

The committee chaired by Mandera South MP Adan Haji Ali toured the facility after it emerged that 88 out 139 containers had been released.

The 139 containers of cooking edible oil were intercepted in 2019 after Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other government agencies raised a red flag on the basis that the consignment was not fit for human consumption.

Addressing the media after verification, the committee chair called upon the DCI to speed up their investigations to unravel how the condemned oil ended up in the local market and prosecute the culprits behind the theft syndicate.

Adan called upon the DCI to speed up their investigations to unravel how the condemned oil ended up in the local market and prosecute the culprits behind the theft syndicate.

“There should be no sacred cow, we are aware this facility belongs to a prominent businessman in Mombasa who is also a top politician but the law is blind. The law that applies to ordinary Mwananchi should apply to all of us,” said Adan.

Earlier before coming for physical verification, the Committee sought answers from the Ministry and the Multi-Agency taskforce on the rationale behind the decision to seize goods belonging to a number of traders, the ownership of the seized goods, location of storage and quantities of the seized goods, among other questions.

On 11th May 2021, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 44(2)(c), the Hon. John Kiarie, MP (Dagoretti South Constituency) requested the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives to undertake an inquiry and report on the status of products seized by the Multi Agency Team in the financial years 2017/2018/ and 2018/2019.

On his part John Kiarie confirmed during the first launch of an investigation by the committee there were 139 containers of the condemned edible oil.

“Today as we were doing investigations through random sampling we have established that out of 139 containers,88 had been allegedly released to the market to be reused in the manufacture of soap and the remaining have suspicious custody on how they left the CFS,” Said Kiarie.

Kiarie said the committee is seeking to establish the chain of custody from where the goods were loaded, whether there was a standard check during the loading, how they were offloaded to the alleged CFS.

The Dagoretti South Constituency legislature further said they need clarifications from the Multi-Agency team who were involved in overseeing the exercise of the condemned edible oil.

The Committee is in Mombasa to undertake physical inspection visits to about 8 CFS storage facilities to ascertain the status of the seized goods.

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