Kenyan Government Re-Exports Illegal High Value Cars To The United Kingdom

In the last year, a rise in the importation of illicit goods by both small and big enterprises has been seen. In 2018, the government launched a campaign to fight illicit trade in the country by heightening surveillance and enforcement measures at the ports. Government agencies have since been deployed to work in collaboration in a bid to seize these illicit goods including counterfeits, substandard goods, and smuggled goods.

Even with loopholes left within the system, the government has managed to expose syndicates at the ports. The latest crackdown has one on an international criminal cartel that has been smuggling stolen motor vehicles through the port and selling them in the East African market. Between March and September 2019, government agencies intercepted 21 high-value vehicles stolen from the United Kingdom and shipped to the port of Mombasa.

The seized vehicles had been shipped at ports in the UK and Belgium. According to manifest information, all 21 vehicles were intended to transit through Kenya and arrive at other destinations in East Africa. However, given recent seizures made by DCI, we believe that such high-value stolen vehicles occasionally enter the Kenyan market illegally.

Following the seizures, Kenyan and British authorities have worked together to ensure the stolen vehicles are returned to the country of origin. These vehicles will be received in the UK by police authorities, specifically the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS). UK Police will undertake further law enforcement measures and eventually reunite the vehicles with their rightful owners.

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“In returning the vehicles, we wish to send a strong message to criminal networks in East Africa and beyond, that the port of Mombasa will not be used as a conduit for illicit trade. We are going beyond the quest for revenue and are focused on rooting out illicit trade to safeguard a level playing field for legitimate businesses.” Read a joint statement



Gathoni Kuria

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