It is now official that the consignment of 5.8 kilograms of rice imported from Thailand is substandard.
According an analysis report by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the 120,000 bags of 50kgs bag of rice falls short of the required standardisation threshold by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).
Yesterday Kebs Acting Director Market Surveillance Caroline Outa Agwanda was yesterday summoned and interrogated for over five hours at the DCI headquarters in connection to the matter.
According to Kebs standard, for Grade I rice, the broken should not exceed 5 per cent while the broken rice should not exceed 15 per cent and 25 per cent for Grade II and Grade III rice respectively.
“This consignment has surpassed the limit of 25 per cent. It has 28 per cent and thus it is substandard. People must know that Kenya we don’t allow substandard commodities. There was clear collusion between the clearing agents and the importers.” A senior officer privy with the probe said.
Last year, the DCI arrested 17 senior Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kebs among them former Kebs Managing Director Charles Ongwae for allegedly allowing substandard Thai rice into the Kenyan market.
They are accused of willingly permitting the release of the rice into the market through collusion.
“Substandard commodities must be destroyed or shipped back to the county of origin a one’s cost. That is the law.” Our source added.
Substandard and expired rice from Thailand has been gaining entry into Kenyan market after being repackaged in the high seas through collusion between unscrupulous traders and government officials.