The containers arrived at the port yet they were labelled “Government of Kenya (GOK) Not For Sale”. They were purportedly manufactured in Kenya.
The drug regulators at the port of Mombasa seized the mysterious consignment last Thursday, after they realised the drugs were destined for the local market.
A local drug manufacturing company, Dawa Limited, at the centre of the scam, allegedly imported the drugs from China under the pretext they were manufactured locally.
Medical Services PS James ole Kiyiapi said the firm had won a Sh17 million tender to supply the Government with medical kits.
“The matter is serious because it could be a cartel attempting to defraud,” warned the PS.
However, Prof. Kiyiapi said no drugs were scheduled to be imported for the Government, noting the issue with the consignment was “alarming” and “very serious”.
“As far as we are concerned the current tender has requested for drugs manufactured locally and we are wondering what could be in the containers and why the importer is using GOK initials,” said Kiyiapi.
When contacted by The Standard, the spokesperson for Dawa Limited Ajay Patel said the matter was with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and he could not comment further. The PS said the containers have been under 24-hour surveillance by the police, custom officials and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB). Kiyiapi questioned how the consignment believed to have been made in Kenya ended up coming from China.
Chief Pharmacist Kipkerich Koskei said they have directed officials from the PPB to travel to Mombasa.
Dr. Koskei said the drugs declared to be in the container are similar to what the Government had requested for procurement.
He confirmed that the consignment came from Shanghai, China, adding they would be expecting the importers to give reasons why they attempted to conceal the drugs origin.