More luxury vehicles stolen from UK impounded at Mombasa port
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials on Wednesday nabbed several luxury cars that are believed to have been stolen from United Kingdom at Mombasa port.
UK ambassador to Kenya Nic Hailey witnessed the opening of the containers. He said the National Crime Agency, a leading UK agency that is tasked to fight serious and organised crime, would join Kenya in the fight against the theft.
“Organized crime networks ignore boundaries and this is theft, we tracked this vehicles and we will ship them back to the UK,” said the ambassador.
KRA, however, did not give the specific number of the stolen vehicles. This is not the first time ex-UK vehicles have found their way to Kenya illegally.
In March, KRA intercepted three high-end fuel guzzlers at the Mombasa Port which were on transit to Uganda.
The three vehicles – a Range Rover Sport, a Range Rover Vogue and Land Rover Discovery – confirmed stolen in Interpol’s motor vehicles database, were reportedly concealed in a container which was supposed to be ferrying household goods.
In 2015, a report in the UK’s Independent newspaper said British police and their East African partners seized stolen UK cars worth more than Sh161 million in Uganda.
Many buyers in Kenya and Uganda are unaware that the cars they are buying are stolen, the report added.
The vehicles are sold with what appears to be legal documents but have either been faked or acquired through corruption.
Police from UK followed in Uganda Lexus RX450 which had been fitted with a high-tech tracking device only to discover it was parked with 23 other cars which had also been stolen from the UK.
The car’s journey showed the complexity of the network and the complicity of some officials, the report said.
It too had been transported across Europe via Oman and then shipped to Mombasa.
In Kenya last month, detectives impounded two top of the range vehicles which were registered as motor cycles.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations said the two vehicles, a Range Rover Overfinch and a Mercedes S500 with registration numbers KBN 591A and KBG 330E, reportedly belonged to an official of the Nairobi County.
The vehicles were found in his premises and inside the boot of the Mercedes police officers also recovered two pairs of number plates KCR 985U and KCR 196P.
In the same month, a Mercedes Benz GLA 200 was seized for tax evasion in what DCI said was part of an organized scheme.
It is registered under the name of Cynthia Wanjiru Gitonga, the wife of Embakasi West MP George Theuri.
Police say the car was declared as a semi-trailer that was manufactured at a fictitious company in Mombasa and had evaded paying the appropriate tax duty.