Police are yet to seize 300 illegal vehicles following a new directive by the Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua.
The Deputy IG said that the 300 illegal vehicles which were mostly transit were acquired without following legal procedures yet they appeared in the database of motor vehicles’ registration.
“You are directed to immediately mount operation and detain the vehicles and the drivers,” said the Deputy IG to Regional Police in a memo dated February 13, 2020.
About 37 individuals are said to be involved in the illegal acquisition of the 300 vehicles that were destined for Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia, DRC, and Malawi.
The new directive comes just a few days after the Kenya Revenue Authority seized 5 high-end vehicles and two motorcycles which were stolen from the United Kingdom and shipped to Kenya.
The high-end vehicles which were on transit to Uganda were seized at the Mombasa port following a joint operation between Kenya and the UK and international Police agents.
The Vehicles; Range Rover Vogue, Range Rover Sport, BMW 530D, BMW x5, Volkswagen Tiguan and two motorcycles were seized after the KRA confirmed that they were stolen from the UK.
KRA said illegal motor vehicle business is hurting the local Industry and as well painting a bad image to the Mombasa port as a conduit for illicit businesses.
“It is believed that smuggled high-end vehicles are diverted to the local market, which hurts the motor vehicle industry. Further, proceeds from the illegal business are believed to be used to fund organized crime,” said KRA’s southern region commissioner Kenneth Ochola.
Vehicles stolen from foreign countries are smuggled into African countries and sold at cheaper prices as opposed to those bought through legal means.
Collusion between traders and KRA officials is one of the reasons why the illegal motor vehicle trade thrives despite efforts by the government to curb the heinous act.