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Undercover DCI operation unearths contraband worth Sh32M

Detectives posing as potential buyers have arrested a suspect found with contraband goods worth Sh32 million

Police officers monitor the entrance to the DCI headquarters.  (Image- The Washington Post)

A joint operation conducted by detectives from the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials resulted in the seizure of a shipment of illicit cigarettes valued at over Sh32 million.

A statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed that the team made the bust after undercover detectives had posed as potential customers and intercepted the consignment.

The seized goods comprised over 20,000 packets of popular cigarette brands Supermatch and Pall Mall Safari, at a residential house along Riara Road near Shra Engineering in Kahawa West.

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During the operation, officials also found counterfeit stamps from the Kenya Revenue Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority, as well as empty cigarette cartons labeled British American Tobacco (BAT), Kenya, and Supermatch.

One suspect, identified as Veronicah Njeri Kariuki, was arrested and taken into custody at Muthaiga police station.

Following her detention, Kariuki is currently assisting detectives with investigations, after which she will be arraigned in court.

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The value of the smuggled cigarettes is estimated at Sh32 million, with a loss of Sh18 million in tax revenue for the government.

The seizure of the contraband cigarettes is a significant win for the multi-agency team in their ongoing efforts to crack down on illicit trade, which has been a major challenge in the country.

The authorities have promised to continue their efforts to stamp out illicit trade, which robs the country of much-needed revenue and contributes to other criminal activities.

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KRA has stepped up its measures to curb the loss of revenue by employing technology and clamping down business suspected to be involved in illegal trade.

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