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Traders, Gov’t Count Losses As Kenyan Salt Is Smuggled Into Uganda

KAYSALT which is supposed to be sold only in Kenya is selling like a hot cake in Uganda, thanks to smuggling

It is clearly marked ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’ but this brand of salt is being sold openly in Uganda.

KaySalt produced by Krystalline Salt Limited is the salt brand in question that has given it an unfair advantage over other salt producers that genuinely  enter the country after paying due taxes.

It is important to note that tax evasion by individuals, corporations, and trusts is illegal. Tax evasion includes dishonest tax reporting such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts actually earned.

How Kenya’s Kay Salt finds itself is quite baffling. According to our sources, the salt is smuggled into Uganda, causing the country losses in import duties and other legal fees.

It has also caused severe losses to legal brands on the market as their market sales have since declined by over 60%.

It is in this regard that our investigative journalist, after being alerted by our sources at the Kenya-Uganda both Busia and Malaba borders about the act, arranged an investigative tour in different Ugandan markets, salt stores and produce sellers starting with stores in Kampala.

Man carrying KAYSALT bought from JMT Wholesalers in Owino Market

The investigations reveal that Krystalline Salt Limited has already earned billions of Uganda shillings through smuggling KaySalt into Uganda, after finding the Kampala stores filled to capacity with non-taxed Kenyan salt branded with ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’, evidencing that to reach into Uganda, the salt passed through uncontrolled routes.

 The Kenya based Krystaline is also the proud manufacturer of Habari salt for East African market and beyond, but use the same channels of distribution for KaySalt which is only supposed to be sold in Kenya.

One of the markets our reporter visited was St Balikudembe (Owino market) in Mengo Kisenyi, Kampala, where he found several whole sale stores with huge stocks of the slat supposed to be sold in Kenya only.

From St. Balikuddembe market, our reporter was alerted that the salt was smuggled into Uganda via Uganda’s borders, Busia and Malaba.

 He traveled to the mentioned borders and according to one of the traders he interacted with at Busia border, who preferred anonymity,  Kay salt is smuggled in different ways. It’s smuggled through ‘panya’ (unauthorized) routes by bicycle riders in small quantities. These make several trips in a day.

KAYSALT is widely sold in Uganda

People with disabilities with their wheel chair bicycles are also used to carry reasonable quantities a day by making several trips, and finally big trucks that directly pass through the right paths after bribing their way.

 “It is true all of us here at the border sell this salt [holds a packet of KaySalt in his hands]. Because it is smuggled, it makes becomes cheaper…so we are earning more at least since we buy it cheaply and sell in different packages,” he revealed.

Our investigate journalist took another journey to Malaba border with Uganda to discover the possibility of how the ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’ salt enters Uganda.

It was drama at this border when our reporter landed on another trader who also preferred anonymity, with heavily loaded stock of the said salt.

He revealed that he is the agent of Krystalline Salt Limited at this border.

Using his investigative tactics, our reporter was also told that, the salt is not only smuggled into Uganda but also Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.

This means that Kay salt is breaching Uganda Revenue Authority importing requirements that include: Import declaration, Content particulars, Suppliers invoice, Documented evidence carriage of goods, Customs value declaration, Compliance information, Good release order evidence etc.

We’ll keep you posted about unfolding events about this salt scandal. Who’s involved?

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