As the war against counterfeits intensifies, three businessmen arrested on suspicion of being at the center of repackaging and selling contraband sugar at a store in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate have been freed by the court.
Mr Dahir Ahmed Hassan, Mohammed Dahir and Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed were on Monday charged with the sale of the counterfeit sugar, cooking oil and unlawfully using Kenya Bureau of Standards mark on the products.
They denied the charges before Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku and were freed on a Ksh.300,000 cash bail or an alternative bond of Ksh2 million each.
Several bags of sugar that were labelled unsafe for human consumption were impounded by state detectives at Diamond Wholesalers, an entity believed to be owned by the trio.
The High Court has also stopped police from arresting businessman Patrick Kariuki and his wife. The two were granted a Ksh200,000 anticipatory bail after suspected sugar was seized at their shop in Ruiru.
Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i had revealed that chemical tests on the sugar found traces of mercury and copper in the sweetener that was set for the Kenyan market.
The family of a couple being held at Shauri Moyo Police Station in suspicion of stocking the sugar, mostly labelled as Kabras Sugar on Sunday told Kenyans.co.ke that they were indeed obtaining the quick-selling commodity from a distributor based in Eastleigh.
On Monday, Deputy Head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo intercepted various items smuggled into the country. Mr Musyambo stated that the goods worth Sh1.2 Billion were being held at an inland port in Embakasi.
“Items such as undergarments are indeed banned. You cannot bring in these clothes that have already been used and sell them to Kenyans. This is part of the results from the hundred percent verification of goods that come in. We have a total of 89-40FT containers. They comprise of counterfeits, concealed goods and substandard commodities,” stated Mr Musiambo.
He added that there were notorious imitations of the East African Cables products that were being smuggled in as part of the 89 containers nabbed.
On Sunday, police confiscated more illegal sugar in Ol Kalou town. The sugar was marked for industrial use but was being repackaged by local supermarket staff for sale to households.