Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has seized five high-end motor vehicles and two motorcycles at the Port of Mombasa, suspected to have been smuggled into the country from the United Kingdom (UK).
KRA Regional Coordinator Southern Region Kenneth Ochola said the cars and motorbikes were in two containers and had been declared as being on transit to Uganda.
The seized vehicles are a Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Sport, BMW 530D, BMW X5, and Volkswagen Tiguan.
They were intercepted following a joint operation between Kenya, UK and the international police (Interpol) security agents.
First Secretary at the British High Commission to Kenya, Waqar Qureshi, who witnessed the verification exercise in Mombasa, confirmed that the cars had been stolen from owners in the UK.
Mr Qureshi said the UK will work with its Kenyan counterparts to immediately re-ship the vehicles back to their owners.
“The bill of lading for the container with the three vehicles – the Range Rovers and BMW 530D – and two motorcycles indicated that the cargo was shipped from the Port of Jabel Ali, and the consignor was Jason Abayomi from London. The consignor’s address was flat 15, 145 Seymour Place Mary Lesbone, while the consignee was listed as Kwizera Gilbert Jimmy of Entebbe Kampala,” Mr Ochola said.
Shipping documents for the container loaded with the BMW X5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan indicated that the cargo was shipped from the Port of Antwerpen and the consignor was Belgo Malienne NV AS, while the consignee was Vumilia Investments Uganda.
After the verification, the investigation team confirmed that the Range Rover Vogue and BMW 530D had been stolen last year on May 5 and 8, respectively.
The Range Rover Sport and BMW X5 were also stolen in 2019 on March 23 and June 6, respectively, as were the motorcycles on April 12 and May 13.
The Volkswagen Tiguan was stolen on December 7, 2018.
Mr Ochola said the vehicles were inscribed with chassis numbers of other vehicles which have not been reported as stolen in order to circumvent border control systems.
“Smuggled high-end vehicles are diverted to the Kenyan local market which hurts the local motor-vehicle industry. Further, proceeds from the illegal business are believed to be responsible for funding organized crime,” he said.
Last June, KRA confiscated 12 top-of-the-range vehicles that had been stolen from the United Kingdom.