All Africa Kenya

Kenya: Police in Meru Seize 23 Tons of Suspected Contraband Milk


Police have confiscated 23.1 tonnes of milk from a depot in Makutano, Meru County which is suspected to be counterfeit.

The officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations stormed Musty distribution depot and carted away the 3,850 cartons of Lato long-life milk valued at Sh2.5million to unknown place.

Depot manager Pritpal Bhamra said a group of police officers in plain clothes have been visiting the facility since Saturday, claiming that they were looking for counterfeit milk.

ACCUSATIONS

He said the officials accused them of mixing milk powder with processed milk, thus selling a product that does not meet the set standards.

Regarding the seizure, Mr Bhamra said he is also in the dark since the officers did not show any documents or search warrants before carting away the milk.

“They accused us of mixing milk with powder whereas it is clear we cannot carry out such an exercise here. We buy ready milk and the long-life milk expires in June while short life can stay in the market until March.

“We have all the documents like the East Africa Community certificate of origin. We were cleared by the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and all the relevant bodies. Mixing of milk cannot be carried out in a depot like this one,” said the manager.

BUSINESS RIVALRY

Lato Mountain Region Sales Manager Maurice Mugambi protested the move by the police, saying their product had passed all the government tests.

He claimed the raid was motivated by business rivalry, pointing out that their other depots countrywide have not been targeted.

“We get the milk from Uganda and there is nothing else done here. This is just a distribution point. Our milk is very competitive and we think that the move is political or business rivalry.

“We sell the same produce at the Nairobi depot which is the headquarters and in Kitui, Kisumu, Eldoret and Mombasa yet they are not going to those other depots,” said Mr Mugambi.



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