COURTESY: BUSINESS DAILY: The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says it has intercepted 14 containers with rice that were illegally cleared from the port of Mombasa.

The containers were loaded with 14,560 bags of rice alleged to have been on transit to Uganda.

The goods were shipped from India with the recipient identified as Gobtex International Uganda Ltd while the exporter is an Indian firm, Ganapati Enterprises Limited.

“The consignments were in the process of being cleared from the port irregularly using an entry number which had earlier cleared other containers whose duties were duly paid,” said KRA in a statement Friday.

The taxman said if the containers had been sneaked out of the port, it would have resulted in a Sh8 million tax loss.

Investigations were underway to establish how the goods were cleared using underhand methods.

Authorities clash
Earlier in the morning, there was confusion concerning verification of the containers, with the KRA and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) officials clashing over whether the exercise was supposed to be conducted or not.

While KRA officials invited journalists to cover the exercise, KPA refused to let them into the facility claiming that the taxman had not informed them.

Over the past few months, KRA has intercepted dozens of containers that were being irregularly cleared from the port, with reports alleging that cartels were corrupting KPA and customs officials.

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