Kenya seizes high-end cars destined for Uganda

Tuesday June 11 2019

One of the vehicles intercepted at the Mombasa

One of the vehicles intercepted at the Mombasa Port. PHOTO | COURTESY  

By Christine Kasemiire

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has seized 14 luxury vehicles that were smuggled into the country from the United Kingdom.
The top-of-the-range vehicles, among which include Range Rover Sport, according to Business Daily, were seized after an alert and some of them were destined for Uganda.
They are suspected to have been stolen and smuggled into Kenya from UK and were in transit to Uganda.
Twelve of the vehicles have been reshipped back to UK while the two are awaiting reshipment.

Mr Kevin Safari, the Kenya Revenue Authority customs and border control commissioner, told journalists in Nairobi Kenya that the vehicles worth millions of shillings were stolen from UK last year and shipped by an organised international crime syndicate.
Two luxury Range Rovers, which were destined for Uganda, according to Mr Safari, had been intercepted at Mombasa Port after cargo scanners revealed they were high-end motor vehicles instead of what was documented in the documents manifest.

“According to import documents, the Range Rover Sport cars, which were subject of an international motor vehicle crime and smuggling investigation, were on transit to Uganda,” he said, noting they had not been declared and were subjected to x-ray cargo scanning which returned images of vehicles.

Uganda has been a destination for high-end stolen vehicles and many have been seized and returned to UK and other European countries.
The cars are mainly stolen from UK and France, among others countries.
They are, according to a Daily Monitor investigation, stolen from Europe before they are driven to France and shipped to Oman through Port Le Havre.
From Oman, according to investigations, they are shipped to Mombasa, Kenya before they are transported to Kampala by road in concealed containers.

They are cleared into the country through a well-connected ring that includes car bond owners and revenue customs officials.
In 2016, 36 motor vehicles were returned to UK after they were seized from Ugandans.
Police, in a Daily Monitor investigation in 2016 said, they are following leads with the view of cracking down on the syndicate.
Mr Safari said they had been on lookout for the vehicles after receiving information from UK authorities that the vehicles were headed to Mombasa aboard MV MSC Positano from Oman.
He was speaking after Kenya and UK border patrol teams pledged co-operation to smash the syndicate where luxury vehicles stolen in UK are shipped to Kenya for sale locally and for onward transmission to Uganda.