Cooking oil stored at facility linked to Joho family missing

Friday, November 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Committee on Trade chair Adan Haji Ali (second left) leads members to inspect containers at the Portside Container Freight Station on Wednesday. Photo/PD/BONNY MSANGI

MPs were on Wednesday shocked to learn that 51 containers with contaminated cooking oil which had been stored in a warehouse linked to the family of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho had gone missing.

The disappearance of the multi-million shilling cargo, which had been detained at the Portside Freight terminals in Shimanzi, Mombasa County was discovered when members of the National Assembly’s Committee on Trade visited the warehouse.

MPs learnt that the cooking oil, which had been detained at the facility since 2018, was “stolen” by unknown persons.    

It was not immediately clear when the goods were “stolen” from the warehouse.

Illegal operations

The MPs, led by chairman Adan Haji Ali, asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate and arrest the people behind the theft of the cargo which is suspected to have found its way into the market.

They said the facility had been operating illegally.

 “We want to put the DCI on notice that he must move with speed to arrest and prosecute those behind the stolen containers.

There should not be sacred cows. We are aware that this facility belongs to a prominent businessman who is also a top politician but the law is blind and the law that applies to ordinary mwananchi should apply to all of us,” said Ali.

Ali also put on notice the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for failing to protect contaminated goods under their custody.

The containers are said to have been stored in the facility by a multi-agency team three years ago after they were found to be unfit for human consumption.

Lawmakers demanded that KRA withdraws the facility’s licence for failing to raise the alarm after the containers went missing.

“It is not in doubt that 51 containers full of edible cooking oil have been stolen from this portside container facility and unfortunately, this edible oil is unfit for human consumption.

We are asking ourselves that if someone can be brave enough to steal containers from a bonded warehouse, what about those that are not bonded,” posed Ali.

Legislators wondered why KRA had not secured the facility.  “It is very sad to find an entity like this operating under full glare of KRA when they know there is violation of East Africa Community Act section 26. But the liability lies with owners of this place,” he added.

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