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Kebs MD, Nine Others Arrested Over Importation of Contraband Fertiliser

Kenya Bureau of Standards MD Charles Ongwae and nine other senior officials have been arrested claims of importation of substandard fertiliser.

After the arrest,they were taken for questioning at the DCI over the importation of substandard fertiliser and circulation of fake KEBS stamps.

The nine were picked by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

They included Quality Assurance director Erick Chesire, Inspection manager Kilindini port Peter Ndung’u, Port health officer Pole Mwangeni and Regional manager Coast region Martin Nyakiamo.

Others are Erick Kirui, Erick Ochieng, Catherine Bowen, Robin Shake and Rhoda Kirui who are part of Kebs tender committee.

DPP Noordin Haji said OCP Kenya limited from Morocco, imported compound fertiliser weighing 5,846,000 kilograms which upon testing failed to meet KEBS standard.

“When the company appealed for a second test it failed to meet the standard again. That notwithstanding, it was released into the market as opposed to destroying it or re-shipping it to the country of origin,” Haji said in a statement.

He also said the officials will face prosecution over the procurement fake of ISM stickers.

He said the mark meant to monitor and control imported goods has been found to be unfit.

The stickers were procured by Kebs from M/s Madras Private Security Limited.

“The mark supplied has been found to be prone to photocopying, scanning and misuse by unscrupulous traders, defeating the purpose of its procurement. Kebs committed the government to the payment of over Sh800 million for the supply of the mark,” he said.

DCI boss George Kinoti said, “They have to explain how the country is consuming poisonous sugar. Copper and lead are dangerous.”

The 10 officials are likely to stay in the police cells until Monday when they are presented in court.

The suspects risk being charged with abuse of office, breach of trust, selling substandard goods and failing to stop “a felony and attempted murder.”

Ongwae and his managers were questioned in May over the rise of contraband goods.

They were earlier on Friday summoned to the DCI headquarters. He and two other directors were questioned for almost five hours.

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