Kenya’s security officers patrolling the Somali border on Friday seized 141 bags of illicit sugar of Brazil origin, five rolls of carpet, a pale of pillows among other items valued over 8,000 U.S. dollars that were being smuggled into the country.

The truck ferrying the goods was intercepted by the security officers at Wemerer, Dadaab sub-county about 15 km from the border. The police are interrogating the driver of the vehicle.

Garissa County Commissioner James Kianda warned unscrupulous businessmen involved in the illegal business to stop or face stern action.

“We have declared war on contraband goods entering the country illegally and all our security forces are on high alert,” he said.

Kianda said the border with Somalia is officially closed and goods from the war torn country are not allowed into the country.

“Anyone found smuggling goods into the country will face stern action. We shall not spare the driver, the owner and even the truck when we arrest them,” he said.

The government administrator hailed members of the public for giving information on suspected criminals and illegal trade.

“I want to thank those who give us the information that led to the arrest of the driver whom we belief is behind this smuggling. I urge residents to continue giving us information and we are determined to eradicate this trade,” he added.

Kianda said two other suspects who escaped when the security officers intercepted the truck are being sought.
“We have crucial information that will assist us nabbing the suspects,” the government administrator said.
Kianda said the driver is to be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are complete, adding that the lorry will be forfeited to the Kenyan government and the sugar destroyed.

Kenyan authorities have had a difficult time to control the entrance of contraband goods due to the region’s proximity to the war torn Somalia.

The goods later find their way in the wholesales and shops where unsuspecting people end up buying them.
The government also believes that the unscrupulous business people are also involved in smuggling in the county firearms and explosives through the region.

The firearms which have been used to kill and harm innocent people also find their way to other major towns.
The business is also believed to be a key income for the terror group after African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) flushed out the militants from Somalia’s coastal line. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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