The Government has intensified the war against contraband and smuggling as part of the comprehensive strategy on countering terrorist financing.
Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, while speaking during a high-level security meeting at the Government Guest House in Garissa County, Dr. Matiang’i lamented that the vice is hurting businesses in the country.
“This is not a trade. It is fueling the death of Kenyans. Those who engage in it are al-Shabaab’s foremost supporters and funders, and will be handled like the terrorists,” he said.
Multi-Agency security operation
The Cabinet Secretary announced a multi-agency team that will launch a security operation and sustain surveillance along the borders to stop the flow of illicit goods, services, and immigrants into the country.
The team will provide weekly updates to the Cabinet Secretary for necessary actions and responses.
Dr. Matiang’i also warned of severe disciplinary action against any government official who will drop the ball in this war.
“…Meanwhile, any officer, either in the national or county government, found tolerating or abetting cross-border smuggling of counterfeits will be held personally accountable.”
During this year’s National Security Review and Planning Conference in Mombasa, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed all security formations in the country to suppress all means by which al-Shabaab are generating or receiving funds through Kenya, notably from contraband and illicit trade.
The government has already begun the progressive deployment of equipment and concurrent facilitation of training and education for the Border Patrol Unit of the Administration Police Service to increase the collection of information and intelligence on criminal networks and complex smuggling rings.