Cars stolen in the UK found at Mombasa port

Seven high-value vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom and shipped to Kenya have been intercepted at Mombasa port.  Falsified importation clearance documents indicate the vehicles valued at Sh500 million were destined to Uganda, but customs officials suspected they were likely to be diverted into the Kenya market. Speaking at the port on Friday British High Commissioner to Kenya Mr Nic Hailey said the seizure was an affirmation of close collaboration between Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and UK government. “The cars were stolen from UK and it shows that the organised crimes have no boundaries," he said.

He said sleuths from the two nations were working to identify the faces behind the transnational crime. Among the cars seized were five Range Rovers, one Land Rover Discovery and a BMW X5 all shipped in containers marked as "other low-value vehicle models". “In some cases the cars were disguised as used household goods,” said KRA Commissioner, Intelligence and Strategic Mr Githii Mburu. Mburu said in two cases, the chassis numbers found on the vehicles had been “cloned” to conceal their stolen status. Two of the vehicles were tracked for three months from a UK port.

KRA and UK officials reiterated their collaboration to stamp out high-value vehicle theft syndicates in Kenya and UK ports which analysts say have thrived in the recent years. Mr Hailey said the vehicles will be re-shipped to UK. “In the recent past we have re-shipped two high-valued cars to UK,” said KRA Chief Manager, Investigation and Enforcement, Joseph Tonui. “We will continue to work together to end stolen vehicle smuggling syndicate.”  In recent months five other similar vehicles have been seized at the port.

Some of the vehicles were found in containers declared as containing household goods while others were detected as having tampered chassis numbers to conceal their original ownership.