KRA notes with disappointment, the erroneous publication of a media article arising from a presentation tabled to the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday 3rd, 2018.
The misleading article published in the local daily’s Newspaper on Thursday, July 5, 2018 and headlined: ‘Firms hid behind sugar law to import drugs’ provides a distorted and inaccurate report of the KRA’s report to the Departmental committee as presented and duly tabled in the National Assembly.
At the presentation session, the KRA Commissioner General, Mr. John Njiraini was clear on the period when the drugs allegedly entered the country. This was in July 2016 and was not within a duty free window.
Further, we wish to confirm the context within which this matter was addressed. The Commissioner General alluded to the narcotic haul in response to a specific query raised by the Parliamentary Committee and relating to information on Mshale Commodities Ltd.
According to our records, there is evidence confirming the existence of Mshale Commodities Uganda Limited and Mshale Commodities Mombasa Limited.
Mshale Commodities Mombasa Ltd is a registered entity in Kenya and holds a valid Personal Identification Number (PIN) in our database. The firm has no current legal encumbrances or caveats that would restrict is operations. On the other end, Mshale Commodities Uganda Limited is not locally registered thus not within our ambit, but faces an operating caveat in this country due to an ongoing criminal court case.
It is instructive to note that in July 2016, Mshale Commodities Uganda Limited, imported four 20 feet containers with a declaration of sugar in transit to Uganda. In a routine inspection, one of the containers in transit to Uganda was found loaded with narcotic substances. A verification exercise was duly conducted by Government agencies led by Anti-Narcotics Police Unit leading to the discovery of four unsealed polypropylene bags cleverly concealed within the bags of sugar. The four bags yielded 90 blocks of the item. Marks on the blocks of the substance read; “Lacoste”.
Consequently, as the matter is currently in court:
- The 90 blocks suspected to be narcotics were marked as exhibits and packed in evidence bags and detained by the Anti-Narcotics Police Unit.
- All the four containers were secured and sealed and remain under the custody of the OCS Kilindini Port Police and the matter is still being handled by the relevant Government agencies.
This clearly confirms that there were no narcotic shipments to Kenya during the duty free window as alleged. Indeed, KRA takes great exception to such alarming and sensational reporting and calls for eternal media vigilance and verification of such crucial details.