A Mombasa court has granted the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) full access to 82 suspicious containers at Mombasa port that were allegedly laden with imported black tea. Cup of Joe Limited imported 82 forty-foot containers labeled as black tea from Iran and Vietnam between April and June 2021, according to KRA.
According to a statement released by KRA on Friday, High Court Judge John Mativo has ordered that the containers detained by KRA be verified after receiving advice from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) that the shipment is under criminal investigation for numerous infractions.
“The offenses include the financing of terrorism, irregular importation, concealment and misdeclaration,” KRA said.
The company has sought judicial review of KRA’s decision not to release the containers.The verification is taking place at the Regional Logistics Container Freight Station (CFS), Miritini, according to KRA.
The state also claimed that the importer applied for the requisite permit to bring the cargo into the country after the government had already begun an inquiry into the shipment. The State further informed the court that it had received a letter from the Kenya Tea Development Authority stating that it did not import some of the tea in the Consignment labeled as being processed by KTDA and requesting that an investigation be conducted.
On Friday, two of the 82 containers were validated. The judge set a date for the case to be heard on Monday, February 7th, 2022, so that the court can decide when the remaining containers will be verified.