Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has revealed that apart from contraband sugar that may contain toxic mercury, fertilizer, cooking oil, fruit juices and tomato ketchup in the market could be containing heavy metals that are harmful to human beings.
Matiang’i spoke when he appeared before the National Assembly’s joint committee on Trade and Agriculture probing the importation of contraband sugar, .
“Any sugar that is in the market has been released by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Revenue Authority and the Anti-Counterfeit Agency. I cannot vouch for sugar that is still in police custody,” Matiang’i said.
The CS said the police are holding about 1.4 million bags of sugar across the country, which is unfit for human consumption and that his ministry will soon be destroying Sh1.2 billion contraband goods. They include fertiliser, sugar and alcohol impounded from the market by Kenya Bureau of Standards officials.
So far, 72 people have been arrested and charged in court in the crackdown against contraband products.
The Interior boss refused to give details on the extent of the investigation “due to the sensitivity of the matter”. He said he can only do that in camera.