A police officer in Malindi, Kilifi County, was arrested on Tuesday for transporting 172 bags of charcoal along the Malindi-Tarasaa road without a valid permit.
The officer, driving a police lorry from Tana Delta Sub County, was intercepted at Sabaki bridge by the Special Operation Group (SOG) officers during a routine patrol.
Upon inspection, the SOG team discovered the police lorry was carrying 172 bags of charcoal without the necessary movement permit.
The lorry was also transporting five civilians, whom the officer claimed to have given a ride from Tarasaa with the intention of dropping them off in Malindi.
Subsequently, both the officer and the five residents were apprehended and transported to the Malindi police station, where they were formally booked, pending further investigation and subsequent arraignment at the Malindi court.
The lorry, loaded with the bags of charcoal, is currently impounded at the Malindi police station yard.
In the event of being found guilty, the officer will face charges for violating Section 14 of the Forestry (Charcoal) Rules of 2009, which explicitly prohibits the transportation of charcoal or charcoal products from one location to another without a valid charcoal movement permit issued in accordance with the regulations outlined in the Act.
The Act additionally mandates that the individual transporting these items must hold a certificate of origin, duly signed by the appropriate association or individual from whom the charcoal is sourced.
Within the permit, it is necessary to specify the vehicle designated for the transportation of charcoal or charcoal products, along with the identification of the individuals to be transported in the vehicle.
For those found guilty, there is a minimum fine of Ksh10,000 stipulated, which may be subject to an increase of up to Ksh100,000, depending on the court's discretion.
"A person who wishes to obtain a charcoal movement permit shall make an application to the Service in the prescribed form," reads part of the Act.