Suspect linked to luxury car smuggling ring arrested

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A second suspect linked to three luxury vehicles worth Sh55.2 million stolen from the United Kingdom and intercepted at Mombasa port has been arrested.

Mr Emanuel Bwire Ragira, who has since been charged in court, has been on the run after being issued with a police bond following his arrest last year.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) claims that the suspect conspired with others still at large to clear the high-end motor vehicles stolen from the UK.

The cars, the court has been told, were in the process of being smuggled to Uganda through Mombasa when they were intercepted at the port.

The taxman alleges that Mr Ragira was involved in the customs clearance of two Range Rovers and one Mercedes Benz by impersonating a clearing agent.

The court heard that the vehicles were declared as household goods and personal effects in the manifest but verification confirmed the cargo was actually vehicles stolen from registered owners abroad.

The charge sheet states that Mr Ragira, jointly with another, with intent to conceal suspected stolen motor vehicles including two Range Rovers and one Mercedes Benz, unlawfully obtained a delivery order number from Jackline Odire Obuya of CMA CGM Kenya Limited in contravention of the law.

KRA says that the suspect stole the vehicles bearing chassis numbers SALGA2KE83GA2908228, WDD2383142F007119 and SALGA2KE8EA142851 between July 1 and 27, 2019 at CMA CGM offices in Mombasa county.

Mr Ragira denied the charge before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti, who slapped him with a Sh2 million bond with a similar surety.

The court was told that Mr Ragira is one of the key suspects in the clearance of the three cars.

The vehicles, the court heard, were among several units recently seized at the Port of Mombasa by KRA in conjunction with local and international law enforcement agencies.

Mr Ragira’s arrest and arraignment in court brings to two the number of people that the police have linked to the crime.

In December last year, a clearing agent — Mr Ali Abdalla Ali — was also charged with a similar offence.

Mr Ali is facing accusations of attempting to clear and release the vehicles.

KRA says it would have lost more than Sh14 million in revenue should the brokers have succeeded in smuggling the vehicles out of the country.

According to the taxman, Interpol confirmed to them that the three posh vehicles had been stolen overseas.

SOURCE: nation.co.ke

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