The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has held five costly motor vehicles suspected to have been sneaked into the country from the United Kingdom.
The five high-end vehicles include Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Vogue, BMW X5, BMW 530D, and Volkswagen Tiguan models.
It is reported that the vehicles were stolen between 2018 and 2019, and they had been adorned with chassis numbers of different vehicles that have not been reported to have passed through the border control systems.
The KRA Regional Coordinator Kenneth Ochola said in a statement issued on Friday that two motorbikes were also part of the seized motors.
Ochola stated that the vehicles had been cleared for transit to Uganda but were intercepted after a joint operation between international police, Kenya, and the United Kingdom security agents.
Part of his statement read, “…they were seized after a verification process that was conducted on Thursday at Focus Container Freight Station in Mombasa.”
The British High Commission to Kenya First Secretary Waqar Qureshi, who witnessed the process, stated that the vehicles were stolen from different owners in the UK.
Qureshi assured that the United Kingdom would work closely with their Kenyan counterparts to send the stolen vehicles back.
According to their documents, the cargo was shipped from Port of Jabel Ali by a London-based consigner Jason Abayomi.
Abayomi’s address was flat 15, 145 Seymour Place Mary Lesbone, while the receiver was identified as Kwizera Gilbert Jimmy from Entebbe Kampala in Uganda.
The container shipping documents for Volkswagen Tiguan and BMW X5 indicated that the consignment was shipped from Port of Antwerpen by a consigner, Belgo Malienne NV AS, and the receiver listed as Vumilia Investments in Uganda.
Ocholla added that the smuggling of high-end vehicles through the local Kenyan market hurt the country’s motor vehicle industry and that an illegal business must have funded the crime.
“Smuggling of high-end vehicles diverted to the local Kenyan market hurts the local motor-vehicle industry. Further, proceeds from the illegal business are believed to be responsible for funding organized crime,” added Ochola.
The probe team affirmed that the Range Rover Vogue was stolen on 5 May 2019, while the Range Rover Sport on 23 March the same year.
Additionally, the BMW X5 was stolen on 6 June 2019, BMW 530D, on 8 May same year, and the motorcycles were stolen on 13 May 2019 and 12 April the same year, respectively.
The investigation team further revealed that the Volkswagen Tiguan was the only model stolen in 2018 on 7 December.