Kenya: Thousands of Foreign Cars ‘To Be Destroyed’

The Kenyan government is planning to destroy thousands of foreign cars because they don’t meet strict import rules, it appears.

Thousands of imported cars lined for destruction

More than 2,000 Japanese cars worth over 4bn Kenyan shillings (£27.8m; $46.2m) have been seized at the port in Mombasa because they were more than eight years old when they arrived in the country, the Daily Nation newspaper reports. Destroying the vehicles will “send a strong message to those flouting regulations”, says Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Mumo Matemu.

Kenya is a big market for second-hand Japanese cars, because both countries drive on the left. In 2013, nearly 52,000 vehicles were exported to Kenya, Japanese customs figures show.

Kenya retains the services of an independent Japanese company to inspect all used vehicles heading to its ports. But the government says it is unclear how the 2,000 seized cars were cleared by the Kenya Revenue Authority, the country’s tax agency.

The appetite for Japanese cars means that Kenyans are frequently warned about bogus companies operating on the internet, either dealing in illegal cars or simply stealing customers’ money.