KRA seizes high-end vehicles stolen from Britain

A Range Rover Vogue vehicle that is part of the vehicles that were recovered PHOTO COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) seized five high-end motor vehicles and two motorbikes at the Port of Mombasa, suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom (UK).

The vehicles had been declared as being on transit to Uganda and were intercepted following a joint operation between Kenya, UK, and the international police security agents, Kenneth Ochola, KRA’s regional coordinator for the Southern Coast area, said in a statement on Friday.

A Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Sport, BMW 530D, BMW x5,  Volkswagen Tiguan, and two motorcycles were seized after a verification process that involved KRA Customs enforcement team, Interpol, Metropolitan Police from the UK, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations among other security agencies.

“The vehicles had been packed in two different containers after being stolen from their owners in the United Kingdom, and the UK will work with its Kenyan counterparts to immediately re-ship the vehicles back,” Ochola said in the statement.

Import documents indicated the cargo had been shipped from the Port of Jabel Ali, and the sender was a one Jason Abayomi from London while the recipient was listed as Kwizera Gilbert Jimmy of Entebbe, Kampala in Uganda.

Ochola said initial investigations had revealed that the vehicles and bikes had been stolen in the UK between December 2018 and June 2019.

This latest seizure is one in a string of many that have seen several high-value vehicles and goods intercepted in foiled smuggling attempts.

The port of Mombasa, claimed to be an entry point for stolen goods and other contraband including narcotics, has in the recent months stepped up security surveillance and scrutiny of cargo, in an effort to redeem its image amid growing competition from neighbouring ports in Tanzania.