Ship operators arrested in Mombasa for ‘lying’

Two vessel masters have been arrested for lying about the quantity of rice and cooking oil they were shipping into Kenya. The commodities would have attracted a tax of Ksh70 million had they made correct declarations.

Sumra Suleiman Umar and Gajjan Mahamad Salim, who are Indian nationals, allegedly made false declarations – to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) – about the goods they were transporting to Kenya via Kilindini Harbour on February 4.

Mr Umar operates as a vessel master of Haseena while his counterpart, Mr Salim, operates in Uwesh Karni.

Mr Umar had reportedly lied to KPA that he was shipping five thousand 25kg-bags of rice into the country, while he had, actually, shipped into Kenya 10, 800 bags. The commodities were to attract a tax of Ksh36.4 million. The suspect further allegedly lied that he transported five thousand 20-litre containers of cooking oil, while 26,600 containers were discovered in the ship.

Mr Salim, on the other hand, gave false information that Uwesh Karni, a ship he operates, ferried 5,000 bags of rice into Kenya, while, 34,560 bags were discovered in the ship. The rice, whose quantity in kgs-per-bag was not revealed, would have, collectively, attracted a tax of Ksh31 million.

Police did not reveal the amount of tax the suspects were to pay for the falsely declared commodities.

Police say an investigation into the matter has been launched.

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