Around 7,000 bags of contraband sugar have been recovered in Meru and Nakuru counties as a crackdown on illicit trade intensifies.

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5,500 bags were recovered in Maua and Meru towns after the Monday raids. 

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers recovered 3,000 bags of the illegal sugar at Kanini Haraka Wholesalers in Meru town and later at night seized 2,500 bags in Maua town after widening their search.

Meru County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said the sugar seized in Maua town was in a store operated by the Kanini Haraka Wholesalers' owner.

Security officers had earlier been deployed in across the county to make sure that the commodity is not sold to unsuspecting Kenyans. 

“We are carrying out our surveillance in all outlets, including supermarkets. Surprisingly, some of the packaged sugar has disappeared from the shelves but we will make sure it is not sold,” Mr. Nyagwanga said in a telephone interview.

“The owner of the warehouses is based in Nairobi and is still at large but we will make sure he is arrested and charged with the crime,” he added.

Thirteen workers who were found repackaging the sugar in Meru town were arrested.

Police impounded 1,350 bags of sugar at Kanini Plaza stores in Nakuru town on Tuesday. Nakuru East Deputy County Commissioner Hassan Omar, who is in charge of the crackdown, said the sugar is believed to also have been imported from Brazil

The raids come when the country has been flooded with illegal sugar with police impounding thousands of bags in various parts of the country, with claims that some of the commodity contains poisonous substances.