Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Ugandan authorities, and Interpol, has successfully recovered a staggering 7,420 bags of caustic soda . This substantial seizure, equivalent to seven entire containers of the product, is the result of a crackdown on international fraudsters who duped an Indian businessman out of his valuable cargo.
The businessman , Surya Parkash, had fallen victim to a cunning scheme that left him shortchanged and determined to seek justice.
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This began when he reported the delivery of 104 containers of caustic soda, valued at an impressive Ksh 267 million, to fake companies,a transaction that happened between December 12, 2022, and April 2023.
Caustic soda, known for its various uses as both a laboratory reagent and a cleansing agent, is a sought-after commodity, making it a target for criminals seeking financial gain.
Speaking directly to reporters, Mr. Parkash, who flew from India to Kenya to file his report at the DCI headquarters, expressed his relief and gratitude for the breakthrough.
He said, “I am immensely grateful to the dedicated investigators who have worked tirelessly to recover my stolen shipment. This ordeal has been financially crippling for me, and I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.”
The investigation exposed a trail of deception that led to the involvement of five companies: Abbey Chemicals East Africa LTD, Innospec LTD, Akoki Investment Agency LTD, CJP Chemicals LTD, and UNATRAL Free Zone SMC Uganda LTD.
These companies had placed orders for the caustic soda consignment, which was delivered through the port of Mombasa between January 31, 2023, and May 15, 2023.
However, as soon as the last container was offloaded at the port, the consignees vanished into thin air, severing all communication with the supplier.
This sudden disappearance set off alarm bells, prompting Mr. Parkash to report the fraudulent activities to the authorities.
The DCI, working in coordination with their Ugandan and Interpol counterparts, swiftly launched an operation to recover the stolen cargo. The breakthrough came when detectives traced the illicit shipment to the Bweyogere Industrial Area in Kampala, Uganda.
DCI spokesperson, Jane Njue, emphasized the importance of international cooperation in tackling such cross-border crimes.
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She said, “This successful operation is a testament to the power of collaboration among law enforcement agencies from different countries. We are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure that the victim, Mr. Parkash, receives the restitution he rightfully deserves.”
Efforts to apprehend the suspects responsible for the fraud and recover the remaining consignment are currently underway.