Kenyans Buying Sugar With Mercury and Copper Traces

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i on Wednesday warned of the presence of a killer substances in some of the sugar feared to be in the Kenyan market.

Addressing the press at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters, Dr Matiang'i indicated that tests on the seized contraband sugar showed it contained copper and mercury.

Authorities had impounded 1,365 bags of sugar and subjected it to chemical analysis. The consignment included 199 and 49 bags of sugar from Brazil and Zambia respectively.

[caption caption="Seized illegal sugar "][/caption]

On Monday, the detectives also impounded a machine used at Paleah Stores near Ruiru Bypass to mix and repackage the sugar that is unsafe for human consumption.

“The level of this criminality is mind-boggling. There are people in our society making money moving goods that they know for sure are unsafe and injurious to our health, We are not going to be polite on this,” stated the CS.

“For those making calls and threatening officers, just know that we are ready and aware that this war could take the lives of some of us...the revenue we have lost is partly because of these kinds of crimes. It is hurting our economy and our health,” added Dr Matiangi.

He declared that the crackdown will be intensified further into the adulteration of fuel and sale of other contraband good further asking businessmen running the network to surrender to the authorities.

“The tendency of making calls will not be entertained, if one (suspect business owners) intends to make calls they know who to call. Just contact the president,” stated the CS.

[caption caption="List of seized sugar packs "][/caption]

More detectives have been directed to the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and staff at the Counterfeits Authority whom he says are suspected to be compromised by unscrupulous businessmen.

When one is exposed to mercury, experts warn that the substance can cause damage to the brain, heart, kidney and their lungs.

During pregnancy, when methylmercury gets into the mother’s bloodstream, it affects the babies’ future thinking and learning abilities as it weakens their nervous system.

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