KENYA – In a major crackdown, the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has impounded illicit powdered milk with an estimated value of Sh35.67 million, revealing a potential adulteration scandal involving maize flour by unscrupulous traders.

The recent operation uncovered a disturbing nexus of illegal activities within the dairy industry.

The seized goods, totaling 655 25-kilogram bags of full cream spray-dried milk powder, lacked the necessary importation documents.

The consignment was traced back to a wholesaler located on Nairobi’s Eastern Bypass, who had operated without compliance since August of the previous year, according to the statement released by the Board.

The crackdown intensified last week when the KDB seized an additional 150 25kg bags of full cream milk powder from traders not registered to deal in dairy products at Kamakis.

Simultaneously, a separate location in Kamakis yielded 422 25kg bags of the product, further expanding the scope of the illicit trade.

Disturbingly, during the operation, the Dairy Board discovered a considerable quantity of corn starch bags, powder mixing equipment, and packaging materials at one facility.

The finding raised immediate concerns regarding the safety and quality of the confiscated milk powder, hinting at a potential case of adulteration.

“This leads to further suspicions that the product is constituted by mixing with corn starch and repackaged as full cream milk powder,” the Board stated expressing deep concern about the adulteration.

“If proven true by the ongoing lab analysis, this constitutes serious adulteration, fraud, and consumer deceit.”

The inspection also revealed that the mixing and packaging facility was unhygienic and lacked basic sanitary facilities, including water, adding to the growing concerns about the overall quality control practices.

The multi-agency team involved in the crackdown includes the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA), and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

“Despite government efforts to facilitate international and local trade through harmonization and automation of business processes, we note with concern that illegal importation of dairy products continues to take place,” Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said.

“The government is committed to ensuring the safety and quality of dairy products in the market, and further actions are anticipated as investigations unfold.”

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