Suspended Bernard Njinu Njiraini, the managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), and seven other top government employees were charged on Tuesday with stealing 20,000 bags of rejected sugar valued more than Sh20 million.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) deputy commissioner Joseph Kiago Kaguru was also charged with theft, conspiracy to commit a felony, abuse of power, interfering with goods subject to customs inspection, among other counts.
Before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina, the eight accused appeared and refuted the accusations. They were released after posting Sh400,000 in cash bail, each.
The brown sugar had been rejected, according to the charge sheet, and was slated to be utilized as a starting point for the distillation of industrial ethanol.
Derrick Njeru Kago and Peter Njoroge Mwangi, both suspended KRA officials, Crispus Waithaka Macharia, a shipping agent at Mombasa Port, Mohammed Hassan Ali, Abdi Hirsi Yusuf alias Blackie, and Pollyanne Njeri Kamau, all merchants, were also indicted.
According to the charging document, the offense was committed on several dates between December 9, 2022, and May 3, 2023, at an unidentified location in Kenya.
According to the prosecution, they jointly planned to take the sugar, which was condemned and worth Sh20,064,000 from the KRA.
Additionally, the accused individuals denied tampering with the 20,064 bags weighing 50 kilograms each.
Additionally, the court heard testimony that Mr. Njiraini abused his position by unilaterally suggesting that condemned brown sugar be converted through distillation into industrial ethanol.
The case will be mentioned on June 6 for pre-trial directions.