KEBS Boss Charles Ongwae Arrested Over Contraband Sugar Scandal

  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Charles Ongwae was on Friday arrested in connection with the ongoing probe into contraband sugar in Kenya.

    The boss was taken in a day after he contradicted Interior Cabinet Secretay Fred Matiang'i when he claimed that no mercury was found in the impounded sugar.

    Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) operatives swooped in and arrested the KEBS boss along with six other officials including senior managers Eric Chesire and Eric Ochieng.

    The reports further suggested that the suspects were escorted to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road for questioning.

    [caption caption="Journalists gathered outside the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road"][/caption]

    Confirming the arrests, DCI boss George Kinoti told reporters that up to 10 officials at KEBS were under investigation and they would be charged with committing a felony and attempted murder.

    "They need to explain how the country is feeding poisonous sugar. Copper and lead are dangerous to humans," the DCI boss stated.

    Kenyans were outraged by the contradicting assertions that were sparked by Trade CS Adan Mohamed clashing with Matiang'i over the illegally imported sugar.

    "Tests carried out by KEBS did not find any form of toxic metal as claimed. I, however, call on anyone with contrary information to alert the authorities," CS Adan stated in a meeting with the National Assembly Trade and Investments Committee.

    Dr Matiang'i exposed the shocking findings on June 13, where he emphasised that everything possible would be done to bring the culprits to book.

    "I am not under any illusion that we engaged in a very serious war. A war that could mean anything; it could mean even the lives of these officers and some of us.

    [caption caption="Police officers stand guard over tonnes of sugar impounded over claims of contamination with copper and lead"][/caption]

    "It is a complex war that may not spare the detectives involved in the ongoing crackdown," he stated.

    He revealed that the investigators had been receiving threats on their lives as the crackdown intensified. 

    "The people who gave up their lives for this country to be independent did not lose their blood in vain so that we get ourselves where we are today, where we have people in our midst who are selling poison and sabotaging our economy," the CS urged.

    UPDATE:

    2:46 p. m: This story was updated to include details of where the officials were questioned.