MORE than a hundred bags of betelnut and mustard with an estimated street value of K60, 000 were confiscated by officers of the NCDC Buai Ban enforcement unit while in the process of been smuggled into the city.
The haul involved 111 large(Farmest) bags of betelnut and 113 packages of mustard and were spotted in an overloaded 25 seater Coaster bus scurrying past the Courts Round About in the cover of dawn.
Leader of the NCDC unit, Steven Bui and his men were doing a routine check in the city in the early hours of Wednesday 19th June, 2019 when they spotted the overloaded bus speeding through the round a bout.
“We followed the bus which accelerated further when the driver realised that he was followed.
“Luckily a police unit from the Gordon’s Police Station, also on a routine patrol stepped into assist to apprehend the driver, its passengers and the cargo as they were trying to make their getaway through the Gordons residential area,” Mr. Bui recounted.
"City Manager Bernard Kipit while commending the work of his men and the police officers, expressed disappointment that city residents continually ignore the rules and regulations of the Commission to suit their own interest and benefit."
“The law is there to guide everyone. We are not stopping the vendors to sell betelnut in the city. All we ask is to cooperate with the city authority by trading with a proper licence that would permit you to buy or sell betelnut from legalised betelnut wholesale locations,” Mr. Kipit said.
NCDC has designated locations and groups in the city as wholesale buying points for betelnut intended to control the influx of betelnut into the city.
“The manner in which the load of betelnut was brought into the city in this case is outright smuggling and in total defiance of the Commission’s relevant laws and arrangements on the trading of betelnut in the city,” the City Manager added.
Mr. Kipit said betelnut is controlled in the city for the gross amount of littering and damages created through the related activities of betelnut.
The City Manager issued astern warning to the public that the Commission is not slowing down in its efforts to control betelnut in the city and this major haul should sound a warning to everyone concerned that the law will eventually caught up with anyone continuing to defy the controls on betelnut in the city.
“I highly commend the efforts of the police officers from the Gordons Police Station and my officer Steven Bui and his men in averting this act of smuggling.
“This is the commitment we and our stakeholders hold in common to uphold and enforce the laws and regulations of the Commission for the good of our city,” Mr. Kipit said.
Despite the ongoing awareness on betelnut from City Hall, residents continue to smuggle betelnut into the city to sell.
The group of three women and nine men armed with bush knives hired a white 25 seater Coaster Bus to take them to the Gulf province to buy betelnut. The bus upon returning from Kerema town, took the route from Erima to Henao Drive and were about to drive out of the Gordon’s/Courts roundabout when they were spotted.
All 111 bags of betelnut and the 113 packs of mustard were destroyed in front of the betelnut smugglers who cried for mercy as the betelnut and mustards were been destroyed.