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Two arrested in Nairobi for allegedly selling contaminated sugar

Police officers on Tuesday arrested two shopkeepers for allegedly selling contaminated sugar.

The National Police Service (NPS) said in a statement that members of the public tipped off its officers on patrol that the shop, located at Riverside, was selling contaminated sugar.

According to the police, the member of the public who tipped them off had bought half a kilo of sugar from the said shop, only to find that the granules contained a substance that she suspected to be poisonous.

Officers then swung into action and arrested the shopkeeper, identified only as Otieno.

During the arrest, officers recovered various brands of sugar, including 48kg of sugar in a 50kg Brazilian bag and 40 pieces of 1kg packets of Kabras and Ndhiwa sugar.

The suspect later led officers to Njeka Wholesale, owned by a Kamau, where they also seized more sugar.

“The suspect also led officers to Njeka Wholesale owned by a Kamau where officers also seized more items including 60 bags of 50kg bags of various brands including Kakira sugar, Indian brown sugar and Diamond sugar bags,” the statement said.

Also read: No, our baby food is not contaminated, Nestlé Kenya

The arrests come days after officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kisii, accompanied by local police, busted an illegal sugar repackaging operation at a multi-story building in Kenyenya Sub County on Monday.

Acting on a tip-off from the public, Sub County Police Commander Charles Opondo confirmed that they had arrested a middle-aged woman who was allegedly working with others to repackage the sugar from Tanzania and Uganda.

The sugar was labelled with brands such as Mara, Sony, and other local millers to hide its true origin.

Police said they discovered that the suspects were operating in unhygienic conditions and without proper weighing equipment.

The owner of the premises claimed that she had rented the house to an individual named Sam Ouko, who is currently on the run, adding that she was unaware of the illegal activities taking place on her property.

On Monday, former Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) managing director Bernard Njiru Njiraini and seven others were arraigned before the Milimani Magistrate’s Court in connection with the disappearance and illegal sale of the condemned sugar.

Also read: KEBS, KRA officials arrested over contaminated rice scandal

Njiraini and seven others were released on Sh400,000 cash bail in the Sh20 million condemned sugar theft case.

Last week, Public Service boss Felix Koskei announced the suspension of 27 officials from Kebs, KRA, National Police Service (NPS), DCI and Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) to pave way for investigations into the irregular release of the condemned sugar.

20,000 bags of sugar – each weighing 50 kilograms – had been imported into the country in 2018 and condemned by Kebs for not having an expiry date.

The agency then ordered them to be sent back or destroyed at the owner’s expense.

The sugar was to be used to produce industrial ethanol, and Kebs officials were to have unfettered access to the Galgamesh Enterprises Ltd. go-downs.

The main suspect in the theft of condemned sugar was arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Saturday after landing from Dubai.

Chrispus Waithaka was apprehended after he landed on Emirates flight number EK721 at around 9pm. He was detained by immigration officials as he had a travel ban.

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