Three other suspects have been arraigned in court over allegations of being found in possession of sugar unfit for human consumption.
Simon Gichivu Maria, Leah Njeri Njiru and Douglas Kuria Njiru were presented before Senior Resident Magistrate Christine Njagi where the police were seeking 21 days to continue holding the responddents as the complete investigations.
The respondents were arrested on 13th June 2018 and booked at Muthaiga and Parklands police stations respectively and were believed to be the directors of Paleah stores who are the owners of the warehouse where the sugar was recovered.
According to the Investigating officer, the investigations were brought about by intelligence reports that the respondents were repackaging sugar from its original packing and the same was confirmed by the police on patrol.
The court further heard that the court that investigations are expected to be carried out by different agencies including counterfeit agency, KRA, Kenya Ports Authority, KEBs, government chemist and office of the Director of public prosecutions adding that these agencies require time for sampling and conducting analysis on the unfit for human consumption sugar.
”Considering the facts that the respondents are suspected are suspected to have supplied the sugar, it is necessary to carry out investigations to the suspected supplied markets all over the country, which requires a lot of time,” the Investigating officer told court.
In addition, the police said releasing the three on bond pending investigations may jeopardize the ongoing probe since there is a likelihood of them assisting and facilitating removal of the fake sugar from the stores that they have supplied.
The police further added that preliminary investigations have revealed that the investigation team requires furthering its investigations to the port of Mombasa to authenticate the provided import documents and also visit the local sugar companies in the country whose packaging bags were found being used by the respondents for collecting samples and statement recording.
“This is a matter of public interest since it touches on the health of almost all Kenyans who consume sugar,” read the affidavit by the Investigating team.
However, through their lawyers, the court heard that the second respondent Leah Njeri Njiru, was the director of Paleah stores and had been granted anticipatory bail by the High Court and therefore her continued detention will be in violation of the order of the High Court.
The prosecution confirmed to the court the same and asked that the two other respondents be released since they were not the directors of the said store.
The Magistrate therefore made an order that the three respondents be released unconditionally.
This comes a week after three other businessmen were arrested with more than 1000 Kgs of sugar believed to be unfit for human consumption.
They were detained for 10 days to allow police to complete investigations.