Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing Director Charles Ongwae and nine other officers who are in custody will on Monday appear in court where they will face murder charges.
This comes at a time the government has further intensified its fight against the influx of substandard and contraband goods into the Kenyan market.
A statement by the office of the Director Of Public Prosecution on Friday stated that the KEBS officials were arrested in connection to the importation of substandard fertilizer from Morocco and use of fake KEBS stickers permitting the importation.
On June 21 this year, the DCI submitted two files on investigations into the matter leading to the arrest of Mr. Ongwae, Mr. Eric Chesire-quality assurance director, Peter Kinyanjui -inspection manager at Kilindini, Mr Martin Nyakiamo- KEBS regional manager Coast and Pole Mwangeni who is the port health officer.
The convicts will also be charged with aiding the commission of a felony, abuse of office, breach of trust and selling substandard goods in the country.
According to the DPP, a total of 5,486,000 kilograms of substandard fertiliser that should have been destroyed or shipped back to the country of origin was allowed into the Kenyan market by the officers.
KEBS had tested the consignment and found it to be unfit for the Kenyan market but the supplier on the first instance appealed the test demanding that the fertilizer is subjected to further checks. KEBS conducted yet another test but the supply still didn't meet the requirements.
“The company appealed against the first testing whereupon the second testing it failed to meet the standard again. That notwithstanding, the fertilizer was released into the market as opposed to destruction or reshipping to the country of origin,” stated the DPP.
He further noted that; “Upon review of the files, we have established that there is criminal culpability on the part of KEBS officials entrusted with the mandate of monitoring and control of standards.”
The DPP stated that the officers were found to have colluded with the suppliers (OCP-K LTD) in allowing the substandard fertilizer into the Kenyan market.
Nine other directors of a company that had printed the fake KEBS stickers are also on the investigations radar even as the ODPP proceeds to obtain international warrants of arrest for the importers on the fertilizers.