Lamu police impound contraband sugar worth sh 0.4m

Lamu county police commander Muchangi Kioi together with other officers displaying the contraband sugar impounded in Lamu during an operation.66% of the sugar has been confirmed to be unfit for human consumption PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu police have seized over 80 bags of contraband sugar in the first phase of a crackdown launched across the county on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

The bags are equal to 4,025 Kilograms worth an estimated Sh.402,500.

Five suspects have also been arrested.

Addressing journalists in Lamu town on Thursday, Lamu county police commander Muchangi Kioi 44 bags of the contraband sugar were seized in Mpeketoni while 33 were seized on the Lamu-Somalia area of Kiunga.

Another three and a half bags of the contraband sugar were nabbed in a retail store in Lamu island on Thursday morning.

Police also seized gambling machines in Hindi town and arrested three suspects.

The crackdown on contraband sugar and gambling machines are the first of its kind in Lamu.

Kioi said unscrupulous merchants from Mombasa were behind the distribution and selling of contraband sugar in Lamu.

He warned wholesalers and retailers against stocking such harmful products saying the crackdown will also every single shop in the county be it retail or wholesale or even storage depots.

“We have seized 80.5 bags of contraband sugar in Lamu which is approximated at Sh 402,500. We acted on a tip from members of the public who informed us that substandard sugar was being sold in shops within the county. We acted promptly and seized the contraband in Mpeketoni, Lamu Town and Kiunga on Wednesday evening and this morning. We also managed to arrest five suspects who will be arraigned in court anytime from now. The crackdown goes on” said Kioi.

Kioi said the police were also aware of suspicious milk being sold in the region at ridiculously low prices.

He said the milk was already in high distribution in parts of Lamu East especially in Kiunga area.

Residents in Lamu town have also raised alarm over a suspicious brand of toothpaste that is sold cheaply with those who have used it say it tastes nothing close to toothpaste.

Kioi said they will ruthlessly deal with individuals who endanger the health of the masses through the sell of harmful illegal products.

He said all vehicles bringing in goods to Lamu will be subjected to excruciating checks so as to stop contraband goods from penetrating Lamu.

“We know that all the contraband good come in from Mombasa. All vehicles carrying cargo and using the Lamu-Garsen road will have to undergo inspection in all the roadblocks. We are also coordinating with marine police in Lamu town, Mkokoni, Kizingitini, Faza, Ndau and other places to ensure all cargo boats in the Indian Ocean are thoroughly inspected. Such products must not make it into Lamu,” said Kioi.