Stolen maize seeds worth Ksh.7M recovered at private warehouse in Narok: DCI
Published on: March 04, 2021 11:30 (EAT)
Over 1,700 bales of stolen hybrid maize seeds from the Kenya Seed Company valued at over Ksh. 7million were recovered from a private warehouse in Narok. Detectives from the Serious Crimes Unit on Tuesday said the ‘well-coordinated syndicate’ involved a store supervisor at Kenya Seed Company branch in Narok and two traders. They were identified as Brian Meja, Yogesh and Gaurav. It is alleged that they raided a facility leased by Meja, located a distance from Kenya Seed’s main godown, where the recovery was made. Detectives established that the stolen high yielding seeds of variety 6213, are transported in two Probox vehicles daily and held at Meja’s store temporarily, before being moved to establishments owned by the two other suspects. Approximately 40 bales each containing 12 packets of 2kilogrames per packet have reportedly been supplied daily to the two traders since December last year. “Yogesh who owns Shakti Farm products and Ololulunga Shiv Agrovets in Lulunga town has one other godown within Narok town that has currently stored over 10 tonnes of stolen seeds. His fellow suspect Gurav operates Sai Agrovet in Bomet,” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said on Twitter. Preliminary investigations indicate that the traders routinely package ordinary colored maize grains, disguised as the genuine high yielding variety 6213 from the Kenya Seed Company in a bid to rake in more profit. According to the DCI, they then sell it exorbitantly to unsuspecting farmers who end up with poor yields after planting and incurring high input costs trying to improve the crop. Samples of the recovered seeds are to be subjected to forensic analysis with experts drawn from DCI Forensic Lab, the Government Chemist, Kenya Bureau of Standards and other relevant government agencies to strengthen the case, the DCI added. Further, detectives from the Serious Crimes Unit and other relevant investigative units are expected visit the Kenya Seed Company Limited. This it to ascertain how the genuine, certified seeds are graded and packaged as opposed to the ones packaged by the greed-driven enemies to farmers.