The inexplicable vanishing of confiscated sugar from a go-down in Thika has the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) keeping an eye on a Cabinet Secretary and a Member of Parliament.

The two are one of several individuals who are accused of conspiring to sell the shipment that was previously deemed unfit for human consumption back in 2018.

Since the DCI and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) representatives discovered the consignment's disappearance, two weeks have passed.

The DCI's efforts to track down the hazardous shipment of sugar are failing, and there are mounting concerns that it may already be on supermarket shelves.

According to DCI investigators, the sugar had discovered an open marketplace before it ever reached the Port of Mombasa, and powerful individuals was responsible for the shady trade.

According to a trail discovered by sources, 20,000 bags of dangerous sugar travelled from Mombasa to a go-down in Makongeni, Thika. This explains why the sugar that was banned in 2018 could already be available in stores.

When one went to Vinepack Industries in Thika, where the supposedly dangerous sugar was kept, it was calm, and there was just one guard on duty.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) conducted a search at this location in September of last year on the grounds that it was conducting business illegally, creating counterfeit alcohol, and dodging taxes.

To determine when the missing cargo of sugar departed Mombasa, in what circumstances, how it arrived, and where it was kept until it vanished into thin air, DCI officers are in a battle against time.

On April 12, 2023, KRA requested the multi-agency team manage the clearance of the banned sugar; upon arrival in Nairobi, the sugar was to be turned into ethanol for industrial use.

All 20,000 bags of the rejected sugar were sent to Thika on the same day for distillation at Vinepack Industries.

According to estimates, processing the shipment at the Port of Mombasa, sending it to Thika, and offloading the sugar for storage all took eight days.

On April 20, 2023, the multi-agency team from Nairobi collected the shipment in Thika after witnessing the container's disarmament, seal removal, and dumping into go-downs hired by the distiller, Vinepack.

It has now come to light that Vinepack hired Thika-based Kings Commodities Limited to store the sugar.

According to KEBS's letter on the procedure for turning sugar into ethanol, KEBS was required to be there together with NEMA representatives to make sure that all of the sugar is transformed into ethanol and does not get used for other purposes.

In order to confirm that the generated ethanol complies with the necessary requirements, KEBS was also obliged to select samples for analysis at its accredited labs.

The 20,000 bags of tainted sugar had suddenly vanished, and when KEBS officers, the multi-agency teams, and DCI arrived at the go-down in Thika on May 4, 2023, the distillation process was about to start.

Detectives have been searching for the shipment for the last 14 days, but the dangerous sugar has not been located. Some of the suspended officials have given taped testimonies to the DCI about the sugar incident.

Esther Ngari was appointed acting managing director for six months at an emergency meeting conducted by KEBS on Thursday, while Bernard Nguyo was named the new acting director of quality assurance and inspection.

However, sources reveal that Thika Town MP and Cabinet Secretary for Trade together with the KEBS boss and KRA officials and the directors of the company colluded to strike alleged the deal. 

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