An assortment of suspected contraband worth millions of shillings was seized in a joint raids by officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and police officers at a three Star Hotel’s Casino in Kilimani, Nairobi.
The suspected illegal soft drinks, cigarettes and other confectioneries were all carted away to Kebs offices in South C for inspection. Further, the management of the embattled Chinese owned Eastlands Hotel is also on the spotlight by the Immigration Department after police officers established the casino is operated by four foreign nationals without the requisite work permits.
Two of them are Chinese nationals in charge of Casino supervision and chef while two Cambodians, one lady and a gentleman one in charge of gaming management and gaming signs instructor respectively. The illegal items recovered during the surprise sting operation at the casino are neither labeled nor are they registered with Kebs raising their fitness for human consumption into questions.
Our sources at Kebs confirmed all the items seized are imported from China. “The items are under examination whether they are fit for human consumption. However, they are not labeled or registered.” Kebs officer said. Over the weekend, the hotel management was asked to deliver a comprehensive report by Kebs officers on the importation and source of the products seized.
If found culpable, the management risks prosecution and possible jail term in what could turn out to be the largest syndicate unearthed of Chinese trade on contrabands. Kebs enforcement team is grappling to ensure the zero entry of contraband goods into the Kenyan market.
Last year, Kebs managing director Charles Ongwae affirmed importers must adhere with the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity rules or keep off from bringing in goods into the country. Importers are also required to have a Certificate of Conformity, prior to loading and shipment, a legal provision that has been in place since 2005.
Kenya Revenue Authority has also threatened to ship back cargo to country of origin, unless it complies with the import standard rules, which came into force on January 1.