A couple of days ago, we looked into a recent spate of coffee thefts that was beginning to blight the Kenyan coffee industry.
Over the past couple of months, processing facilities in a number of important agricultural areas had been targeting, with a substantial value of coffee taken during the raids. And so when the Kagere Coffee Factory was targeted last week, the news garnered national (and international) attention.
200 bags of parchment coffee had been reported as stolen, with a value of some $70,000.
However, a number of senior officials within the establishment had concerns that the robbery – and a number of previous heists – was an inside job.
Unfortunately, Deputy County Commission Evans Ogwankwa has since concluded that there was no burglary at all and the phantom robbery was a concerted attempt to defraud coffee farmers and government officials.
An audit, conducted in the past few days, showed that the factory received 257.263kg of coffee from farmers but management claimed that were in possession of 256,562kg.
“We suspect that management committees of coffee factories have been stealing from the farmers,” announced a rather glum Ogwankwa.
The Nyeri County Commissioner Onesums Musyoka, flanked by the County Police Commander Eunice Kihiko, said that the manager of the Kagere Factory, along with a clerk and a security guard have to be prosecuted for providing false information to police.
Aside from reporting the ‘robbery’, the factory’s manager, Joseph Gakuo, told members of the press that his employees were threatened at gunpoint during the ‘raid’.
“We are getting to the bottom of these fake coffee thefts once and for all. We are about to conclude the investigation after which we must take all involved to court,” he said.
According to the Standard Digital News, hundreds of bags of coffee are to be transported to other factories, processing facilities and mills in the local area.