Eight individuals have been brought before the Milimani Law Courts to face charges related to the vanishing of a consignment of subsidized fertilizer.

The incident took place between April 18 and 27 this year, during the transportation of the goods to various destinations within the country.

The suspects, who have pleaded not guilty, are facing charges of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and Stealing Goods in Transit, as stipulated under Sections 393 and 297(c) of the Penal Code, respectively.

Following an extensive investigation conducted by diligent detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Operations Unit, the arraignment of the suspects marks a significant development in the case.

The individuals are believed to have exploited the government's commendable initiative aimed at facilitating farmers' access to affordable fertilizer. Their alleged actions led to the diversion of the commodity to an undisclosed location, necessitating the swift intervention of the DCI.

The disappearance of the subsidized fertilizer was initially reported on April 29 at the Mikindani Police Station, through Occurrence Book (OB) No. 31/4/5/2023. Moses Kata, a logistics officer representing the Kenya National Trading Company (KNTC) based in Mombasa, filed the report.

The company had entrusted Yellow Arrow Express Limited with the task of delivering a substantial consignment of 281 tonnes, equivalent to 5,620 bags weighing 50 kilograms each, from Mombasa's warehouses to various destinations across the country.

Regrettably, only two out of the ten trucks dispatched successfully transported their load to the intended destinations in Kericho and Ol Moran, Laikipia County.

The remaining eight trucks mysteriously diverted 4,520 bags of the subsidized fertilizer to an undisclosed location.

The disappearance came to light when KNTC's logistics manager discovered that a consignment of 560 bags, dispatched on April 27 to the National Cereals and Produce Board in Lessos, Nandi County, had not reached its destination.

Startlingly, the truck driver responsible for the 560-bag consignment revealed that he received a call from an unidentified individual masquerading as a KNTC agent. The imposter directed him to stop at a shopping center approximately 25 kilometers away from Lessos.

Once halted, the consignment was offloaded and loaded onto two waiting trucks, while the delivery instruction was fraudulently stamped with a KNTC Eldoret receiver stamp. The vehicles then vanished with the diverted goods, their ultimate destination still unknown.

As of now, investigators are striving to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing 4,520 bags of fertilizer, hoping to recover the stolen commodities and hold the culprits accountable for their actions.

The diligent efforts of the DCI have already led to the apprehension of eight suspects, namely Joseph Muthama, Stanley Muthama, Martin Munyao, and Joseph Muthama (different individuals with the same name).

Additionally, Eric Ng'ang'a, Fredrick Gateri, Anthony Ngei, and Beatrice Mwikali have been taken into custody.

However, eight other suspects linked to the incident remain at large, and the detectives are actively pursuing leads that could lead to their arrest.

The prosecution of these individuals sends a clear message that the government will not tolerate any attempts to exploit crucial initiatives aimed at supporting farmers and the agricultural sector at large.

The judiciary's commitment to ensuring justice prevails in cases of economic sabotage remains steadfast, and the ongoing investigation underscores the tireless dedication of the DCI to protect public resources and hold those responsible accountable.

The trial is set to continue in the coming weeks, and the court proceedings will shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the subsidized fertilizer and the roles played by each of the accused individuals.