NewsDCI Makes Arrest In Fake Fertiliser Bust

DCI Makes Arrest In Fake Fertiliser Bust

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Nakuru detectives have intercepted a consignment of suspected counterfeit fertiliser, worth an estimated Ksh1.4 million, at the Molo National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores. 

The operation conducted on Saturday, March 23, resulted in the impounding of 560 bags of suspected counterfeit fertilizer.

The seizure was the outcome of a collaborative effort by a multi-agency team, comprising the DCIO Molo, CIPU Commander Molo, ACC Central, as well as officers from KEPHIS and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency.

Acting on intelligence, the team conducted an inspection of the depot where the fertilizers were stored, leading to the identification and subsequent confiscation of the suspicious consignment.

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi during a meeting at Kilimo House on Tuesday April 25, 2023

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi during a meeting at Kilimo House on Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Photo
Mithika Linturi

According to initial investigations, the fertiliser, which originated from Kel Chemicals Limited in Thika and was transported by MEMS distributors, was initially slated for delivery a day before the interception. 

However, the NCPB Agriculture Value Chain Vouchering online system revealed that the delivery schedule had been cancelled at 9:47 pm.

Agriculture and Livestock Principal Secretary Paul Ronoh reportedly cancelled the delivery over concerns regarding the standards of the fertiliser. 

“Surprisingly, another consignment of 560 bags of fertiliser, also from Kel Chemicals, was delivered to Molo NCPB while using a trailer,” read a police report.

Following the seizure, the Crime Scene Investigations team from Nakuru processed the scene, and the confiscated fertiliser was handed over to Molo DCI officers for custody. 

A suspect, Joseph Mbote, has been detained pending arraignment in court.

In light of recent incidents involving counterfeit farm inputs, there has been a growing outcry from various quarters

On Friday, the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition called for the dismissal of Agriculture and Livestock Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi and Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Miano. 

The coalition accused them of perpetuating economic sabotage by allowing repeated instances of fake fertiliser and seed scandals.

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi echoed these sentiments, demanding the resignation of top officials at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). Wandayi highlighted the severity of the situation, describing it as “planned, coordinated, and enabled by people in government through acts of commission or omission.”

Meanwhile, reports have emerged of similar incidents in other regions. Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kakamega County recently impounded 700 bags of fake fertiliser from a depot in Malava. 

This has sparked outrage among farmers, who are demanding answers from the county government, alleging fraud and extortion in the distribution of fertiliser.

In response to these developments, President William Ruto issued a stern warning to manufacturers and distributors of counterfeit farm inputs, vowing to hold them accountable. 

He assured Kenyans that the government is working tirelessly to address the issue, with plans to ship more fertilisers for planting by April 10, despite logistical challenges affecting the Red Sea corridor.

President William Ruto addressing residents of Kericho County on March 25, 2024.

President William Ruto addressing residents of Kericho County on March 25, 2024.
PCS

Source: kENYANS.CO.KE

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