Logistics Firm Denies Releasing Toxic Sugar Into Kenya

A Mombasa-based Container Freight Stations (CFS) – Mitchell Cotts Kibarani, has refuted claims that it had released sugar contaminated with seawater to the local market.

The CFS Operations Director, James Rarieya, confirmed that the cargo is in the warehouses.

The 8,025 waterlogged bags were segregated from 19,441 in sound condition.

The good bags will undergo laboratory and quality assurance test results by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), before being released from the CFS.

The Port Health Department issued a seizure notice for the waterlogged bags of sugar awaiting destruction.

“I want to assure you that no sugar has left Mitchell Cotts Kibarani CFS. We are following the law as a CFS operator,” said Rarieya.

Last year October, The Kenya Ports Authority and the Southern Engineering Company (SECO), successfully re-floated a container vessel MSC Eagle F, that ran aground due to engine malfunction, as it approached the Kilindini channel.

The Liberian Flagged Ship from Port Louis, Mauritius was laden with 426 (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), equal to 9,709 metric tons. The sugar was in 46 containers, seawater seeped in 13 containers.

“The water found its way to the containers near the engine. Out of the 46 containers after verification 13 containers had water,” said Rarieya, adding, that the importer Elevon Logistics Limited, gave the CFS the nod to strip the containers to segregate the ones affected by seawater.

The Operations Director noted that the consignment from Mauritius was cleared by all the agencies in the country of origin and has all the requisite documents.

“The problem arises after the vessel developed mechanical problems and water entered the vessel and in some containers,” said Rarieya, reiterating they cannot issue a gate pass to release cargo from a Custom Bonded Warehouse, without authorization from relevant government agencies.