Sony Sugar’s 50,500 tonnes of imported brown sugar from Brazil has been offloaded at the port of Mombasa and MV Holy aboard which the consignment was docked in Mombasa on December 19 2017 released to Zanzibar , a trial court heard.
The court was told Sony Sugar got a review of an earlier prohibitory order that had barred the sugar from entering the Kenyan market.
It was offloaded from the ship but remains detained at the warehouse of the clearing agent until a case challenging the import is heard and determined.
Justice John Mativo, heard and reviewed the December 27 2017 order ex parte which according to activist Okiya Omtata has served to open the floodgates of a “serious fraud” against the local sugar industry.Omtata says justice Mativo may have been misled as companies cited as having been involved in the transaction have since distanced themselves from “the scam…”
A written undertaking was made not to released the sugar from the warehouse until the case is heard and determined or on further orders of the court.
Sugar be destroyed
“We have since unearthed massive fraud involving the sugar import…” the activist charged as he sought to widen his claims stating that his initial case that had stopped the offloading apparently has since been overtaken by events and may now pursue an injunction that “the sugar be destroyed!”
The high court had earlier granted a temporary prohibitory order to block the importer from offloading the consignment before it reviewed order.
The activist thought this was strange but a lawyer explained that they had made the judge see sense in reviewing it, albeit partially.
Omtata equates the import to dumping which has been largely cited as responsible for crippling the local sugar industry.
Fraudulent extra tonnes
The case file returns to Justice Mativo to determine whether to allow the amendment sought, more so after duty courts Roslyn Aburili refrained from being drawn into what she called ” sitting as appeal on a matter already determined by a court of equal jurisdiction.”
“It was a case filed out of public interest,” Omtata submitted.
He stated due diligence was not conducted and an import permit irregularly issued against which the alleged fraudulent extra tonnes of sugar was imported.
Two consignments weighing 25,000 tonnes each of brown Brazilian sugar is exported by HOLBUD limited based in London.Last October the court blocked the importation of duty free sugar in the country in favour of locally manufactured stock and in a plausible decision to lift impoverished sugarcane farming.
The MV Holy docked on December 19 2017 and has since left to Zanzibar.