Crispus Waithaka, the mastermind behind the heist of confiscated brown sugar, was detained on Saturday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). He had just landed in the country from Dubai.
Waithaka, who in 2017 vied for the Nyali parliamentary seat on a Jubilee ticket was travelling using passport number BK 237924 on Fly Emirates flight EK721. He landed at JKIa at 9pm.
Officers from the Immigration Bureau detained him upon landing. The officers found him in possession of a temporary order for a Sh100,000 anticipatory bail . The orders were issued by the Mombasa High Court in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. E067/2023 on May 19.
According to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Waithaka is he director of Asset and Cargo Limited. He was among those who saw the 40 containers holding the banned sugar’s customs seals being broken on April 20.
The investigations into the theft of sugar from a condemned warehouse are already complete. The file has been sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
Top administrators of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and several Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are set be charged with a variety of offences. This includes abuse of authority, according to the DCI investigators’ recommendations.
According to the DCI’s advice to the DPP, some officials will be charged and others will be used as witnesses. The investigators suggested administrative or internal action be taken against others as well.
Those affiliated with the KEBS, KRA, National Police Service, and Agricultural and Food Authority are among those who were sent home to clear the way for the investigations (AFA).
The suspension of the aforementioned public officers was announced by the head of the public service, Felix Koskei, on Wednesday of last week. He added that President William Ruto had been informed of the illegal and criminal release of condemned sugar that was intended to be converted into industrial ethanol.
“It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid,” read the statement in part.
“It is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm,” he added.
The suspended officials include Kebs managing director Bernard Njiraini, Geoffrey Muriira (Director Quality Assurance and Inspection), and Hilda Keror (Manager Inspection, Mombasa Port Office). This is in addition to Liston Lagat (Assistant Manager (ICDN Nairobi) and Stephen Owuor, a principal officer. Also suspended from Kebs is Mr Peter Olima Joseph, an inspector in the Mombasa office.
Joseph Kagure, Mwanja Masinde, Stephen Muiruri, Moses Okoth, Doris Mutembei, Chacha Hondo, Carol Nyagechi and Derick Kago were also suspended from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The scandal has also seen the suspension of two police officers from the National Police Service — George Mithamo and Joel Kirui.
Others suspended are Bernard Ngumbi and Raphael Mwaka from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. At the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), the scam has claimed Oscar Kai and Patrick Magut.