UK, Kenya in deal to nab car smuggling cartels
The United Kingdom and Kenya have set up a joint team to probe rampant cases of vehicle smuggling through the Port of Mombasa. UK security minister Ben Wallace last week visited the port following safety concerns over illegal trade in stolen vehicles that poses safety and economic threats. The British High Commission office in Nairobi yesterday confirmed the impromptu visit by UK minister, saying it was aimed at combating the cartels in Europe and East Africa. “The minister saw the work being done at the port to combat the illegal trade. The UK National Crime Agency is working closely with the Kenyan authorities,” head of communications Stephen Burns said. He added they are working with Interpol, and regional partners to identify, detain and repatriate stolen vehicles to the UK. “Persons buying high-value vehicles are strongly advised to check the provenance of the vehicle and the seller. If you buy a stolen vehicle, even in good faith, you do not own it. Your legal claim is against the person who sold it to you,” reads the statement. Reports indicate Wallace demanded information on cartels allegedly colluding with the Kenya Revenue Authority and government officials to smuggle the cars. The UK believes cartels involved in money laundering and drug cartels in Europe could be behind the syndicate. The vehicles are stolen from the UK and smuggled to Uganda, South Sudan and Gulf countries, leading markets for luxury right-hand-drive cars. They include Range Rovers, BMWs, Jaguars, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota Land Cruisers.