TWO suspects linked to the ungodly find of tonnes of expired rice that were being repackaged into bags of foreign brands with extended shelf life dates remain in detention for 10 days till investigations are complete, a Nairobi court has ruled.
The court has allowed the police to continue holding John Mbugua Kariuki and Jeremiah Kuria Kimani of S.F Nafaka Company after the racket broke.
The rice part of which has already been dumped into the local supermarkets is “unfit for human consumption.”
Kuria and Kimani were arrested on May 15 2019 at Kariobangi South, Nairobi, while repackaging several bags of expired rice into bags of foreign brands with extended expiry dates, thanks to a tip off from a member of the public.
The court was told public health teams, KEBS, KRA and ODPP require time for sampling and conducting analysis on the ungodly find.
“Considering the suspects had supplied the said rice, it is necessary to carry out investigations to the suspected supplied markets all over the country which will require time,” state prosecutors told court.
They said investigators also require time to travel to the Mombasa Port to authenticate purported import documents and visit representatives of foreign companies whose packaging bags were found being used by the respondents.
The court heard they also want to visit the registrar of companies to verify the Directors of the company used by the respondents trading as S.K NAFAKA.
A magsitrate concureed that releasing the suspects before investigations are complete may comromiuse the whole exercise as “intelligence inidicate that most of the unwholesome rice and other food stuff are kept in several stores within Nairobi and other towns within the country which the suspects are yet to led investigators for recovery and may assist and facilitate removal from the stores and markets they had supplied.”
“The matter is of public interest as it touches on the health of almost all Kenyans who consume rice and other commodities under investigations,” Loyara Ewoi, a police officer in the case, said in an affidavit.
The suspects are held at the Parklands police station,Nairobi.