The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), an agency of the government of Kenya responsible for the assessment, collection and accounting for all revenues has unearthed a consignment of smuggled Ethanol declared as imported spaghetti at the Inland Container Depot in the capital of Nairobi (ICDN).
The contraband goods were confiscated by the Authority’s Customs and Border Control unit.
The consignment, imported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an assessed tax valued of more than Ksh15 million (about $150,000) had been concealed in four-20 foot containers that had arrived at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) operated Inland Container Depot last month.
Speaking, when he confirmed the discovery, KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner, Mr Kevin Safari, said his officers on routine non-intrusive surveillance duties had successfully managed to identify and isolate the contraband Ethanol shipment. The 57,600 litres of Ethanol had been neatly filled in 288 drums before loading in the four shipping containers.
Using advanced Cargo X-Ray scanners at the ICDN, Safari, said the team had noted some discrepancy leading to a physical inspection of the containers earlier today.
“The officers at ICDN near Athi River in conjunction with the team at the Integrated Scanner Management Solution command centre at our Time Towers headquarters positively identified the concealed goods in the containers,” Safari said.
“The containers imported by Ms Erikan Holdings Limited had been masked with a total of 10,600 packages of spaghetti,” he added.
Following the discovery, KRA officers, in conjunction with Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), have launched a probe against the importers and the clearing agent.
As part of its corporate transformation, KRA has implemented an Integrated Scanner Management Solution which is part of the ongoing rollout of Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS), and interconnects all cargo scanners (at Ports of entry) to a Central Command & Control Centre at Times Tower, the KRA headquarters; from where enforcement decisions are coordinated.
The implementation of the Integrated Scanner Management system is part of KRA’s Revenue Enhancement Initiatives (REI) geared at providing a 100% non-intrusive verification of imported cargo thereby ensuring faster clearance and intelligence-driven physical verification.