macademia nuts PHOTO:COURTESY
An association of macadamia farmers has called on the government to arrest unscrupulous traders smuggling macadamia nuts to China through Tanzania.
In a letter to the Commissioner, Investigations and Enforcement Department, Kenya Revenue Authority, Nuts Processors Association Managing Director Charles Muigai said the illegal business was hurting farmers and the economy.
“These shadowy operators have been in the business for a long time and keep changing their business name to evade taxes and cover their operations,” said Mr Muigai.
The ban on smuggling of the nuts in 2013 has failed to deter the traders. “According to International Nuts Council statistics, Tanzania is exporting over 3,000 metric tonnes annually of in shell macadamia yet the country is not a producer of macadamia nuts,” he said.
He said Thika and Mulolongo are routes of the illegal trade.