• Police said the trader had arrived in the country at around 9 pm aboard an Emirates flight when he was intercepted by immigration officers.
• He was armed with an interim order for an anticipatory bail of Sh100,000 granted by the High Court in Mombasa vide Criminal Miscellaneous Application dated May 19, officials said.
A businessman who is accused of diverting the missing condemned brown sugar was on Saturday night arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after he arrived from Dubai.
Police said the trader had arrived in the country at around 9 pm aboard an Emirates flight when he was intercepted by immigration officers.
He was armed with an interim order for an anticipatory bail of Sh100,000 granted by the High Court in Mombasa vide Criminal Miscellaneous Application dated May 19, officials said.
But the detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested and escorted him to Kamukunji Police Station where he was placed in custody.
He is expected to be charged in court Monday, May 22, with the diversion of condemned sugar that had been earmarked for conversion into industrial ethanol.
He will face among other charges of conspiracy to commit a crime.
According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) records, the man who is the director of a clearing agency was one of the people who witnessed the breaking of the Customs seals of the 40 containers containing the condemned sugar on April 20.
The investigations into the diversion of condemned sugar has already been finalised and the file forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) ahead of planned arrangement of at least seven people.
The DCI detectives have recommended that top managers of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and some Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) be charged with various charges, among them abuse of office and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Several officials will be charged while some will be treated as witnesses, according to the DCI’s recommendations to the DPP.
The detectives also recommended that others be dealt with administratively or internally.
Among those sent home to pave way for the investigations are attached to the KEBS, KRA, National Police Service, and Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).
Head of Public Service Felix Koskei on Wednesday last week announced the suspension of the said public officers.
He added that President William Ruto had been briefed on the irregular and criminal release of condemned sugar that had been earmarked for conversion into industrial ethanol.
"It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid," reads the statement in part.
“It is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm,” he added.
The suspended officials include those from KEBS the Managing Director Lt Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, Dr Geoffrey Muriira (Director of Quality Assurance and Inspection), Hilda Keror (Manager Inspection, Mombasa Port Office), Liston Lagat (Assistant Manager, ICDN Nairobi), Stephen Owuor (Principal Officer), and Peter Olima Joseph (Inspector, Mombasa).
Those affected in KRA include Joseph Kaguru, Mwanja Masinde, Stephen Muiruri, Moses Okoth, Doris Mutembei, Chacha Hondo, Carol Nyagechi and Derick Kago.
The consignment of 20,000 bags of sugar each weighing 50kgs had been imported into the country in 2018 by Merako Investments Limited from Harare, Zimbabwe but was condemned by KeBS for want of expiry date specification.
It was later decided that the consignment be converted for industrial ethanol use, which was to be implemented under the joint supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), within a multi-agency framework.
According to the probe, after KEBS condemned the sugar, it was taken to a go-down in Makongeni, Thika awaiting disposal orders.
According to KEBS guidelines, goods that do not conform to the Kenyan standards or approved specifications cannot be permitted into the country and should be re-shipped, returned, or destroyed at the expense of the importer.