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Five shipping company agents charged with fraud

19 February 2016, 08:09 Ken Wekesa

Mombasa - Five people have been charged at the Mombasa law court for making a false declaration lading bill form contrary to section 203 of the East African customs management Act.

The five - Inokullu Venkuta Sivakumar, Omprakash lokpal Singh, Pricilla Okello, James Makokha and Anthony Karugu - pleaded not guilty against all the charged leveled against them.

On first count, it is alleged that on May 5 last year, Sivakumar, Singh and Pacific International Lines Limited at Pacific international offices within Mombasa County knowingly made a false declaration.

In second count, it is alleged that between June 2 and October 1 last year, the five conspired to contravene the East African customs Act.

On third count, the second, third and fourth accused were charged of making a false document namely a manifest number 2015MSA12405 and bill of lading.

Earlier, their lawyer had made an application to defer the charges against the accused since the matter was still being investigated and the accused were also conducting parallel investigations on the matter.

Read Also: Govt officer arrested for inciting community wars

The defense lawyer said the accused were dealers in sea shipping and had no interest in the materials that were inside the container.

“At the end of the day, the accused might be potential witnesses in the case and we request the prosecution to defer the charges to allow plea taking,” said the lawyer.

However, the assistant director of public prosecution Alexander Muteti informed the court that police had concluded their investigation which had prompted the preferred charges against the accused through the office of the DPP.

He said the accused were at liberty to initiate their plea to be deferred at any stage of the proceedings, and that the DPP was willing and ready to listen to them.

“We do not oppose the accused application but the decision will be made by the court," said Muteti.

Magistrate Shitubi directed that the case proceed to conclusion.

The accused were released on a bond of KES 2 million or a cash bail of KES 500 000.

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