MOMBASA, Kenya, Nov 1 – The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Friday okayed the repatriation of 4 stolen high-end vehicles back to the UK in what was described as a major milestone in the fight against organized crime in the region.
The tax agency is working to repatriate 21 other vehicles which have been intercepted at the port of Mombasa since March 2019.
KRA Commissioner of Intelligence Tera Saidimu said the 21 vehicles, among them Range Rovers, Mercedes Benz, BWMs were nabbed between month of March and September.
Saidimu told the press that KRA was keen to deliver on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to root out illicit trade in the country, particularly in ports of entry.
“In returning these vehicles, we wish to send a strong message to criminal network in East Africa and beyond that the port of Mombasa will not be used as a conduit for illicit trade,” said Saidimu.
The British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Mariott, who was represented by Waqa Qureshi, the First Secretary at the British High Commissioner’s office in Nairobi, said the 21 stolen vehicles are worth Sh130 million.
“I’m extremely grateful to our Kenya partners whose continued efforts are acting as a deterrent to organized crime network both here in East Africa and United Kingdom,” Qureshi said is a speech delivered on Mariott’s behalf.
A team comprising of KRA, Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Interpol and the UK’s National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) was involved in the operation.
Others were a Black Range Rover Sport stolen on November 11, 2018 in London and seized on April 12, 2019 at the port of Mombasa and a White Mercedes Benz GLE 25OD AMG, which was stolen on February 1, 2019 in Berkshire UK was seized on April 24, 2019.
The fourth vehicle, Black Range Rover Sport Autobiography, stolen on February 7 in Oxford Shire in the UK was seized on April 24, 2019 in Kenya.
In June this year, two other vehicles; a Range Rover Sport and a BMW X5 were successfully shipped back to United Kingdom.