Police in Homa Bay County have seized a lorry that was illegally transporting 7,800 crates of eggs worth Sh2.7 million from Uganda. But before he was apprehended, he led police on a dramatic 50-kilometre chase that only ended when they deflated the truck's tyres.
The vehicle with a Kenyan registration number plate was seized on Tuesday evening when its driver tried to evade customs and Immigration offices at Mbita Town.
Detectives have established that the lorry came from Uganda to Kenya illegally, hence why the driver was actively dodging security officers.
Homa Bay County Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) boss, Mr Abed Kavoo, said the driver used shortcuts to get into the county.
Usually, most vehicles transporting goods from Uganda to Homa Bay use the Kisumu-Busia route before proceeding to South Nyanza through the Kisumu-Nairobi highway. But according to Mr Kavoo, the impounded truck used a different and unusual route to avoid detection.
The driver moved from Uganda to Siaya then took a ferry across Lake Victoria to Mbita town.
Other drivers also use the ferry to move from Siaya to Homa Bay. However, the size of his cargo and suspicious behaviour caused Kenya Revenue Officers (KRA) and Immigration officials in Mbita to demand inspection of the vehicle.
But instead of stopping for inspection, the driver sped off, forcing KRA officials to chase after him.
“There was suspicious activity from the moment the ferry got on land. The driver ignited the engine and started moving out of the water vessel without clearance,” Mr Kavoo said.
The suspect was chased for more than 50 kilometres from Mbita town to Rodi Kopany Trading centre where the vehicle was stopped.
A team of DCI officers and other departments were quickly mobilised to set up a roadblock at Kodoyo Junction to intercept the lorry before it got to Homa Bay Town.
“He drove past the roadblock after taking a different route. Some of the officers who were on the road were almost injured because of the carelessness of the driver who was speeding,” the DCI boss said.
Some of the officers had to drive past the lorry and lay another road block near Rodi Kopany to catch him. They later resorted to deflating the lorry's tyres by firing their guns at them.
When the vehicle stopped, the driver jumped out, running off to nearby bushes to escape capture.
“Two people from the lorry fled into the bush. One is the driver and the other could be his assistant,” Mr Kavoo said.
It took police officers two days to count all 7,800 crates of eggs. They sought the help of more than five inmates from Homa Bay GK prison to count the eggs.
According to the vehicle's registration plates, the owner of the lorry is a resident of South Nyanza.
It is also believed that the eggs were destined for one of the South Nyanza counties.
The suspects are still at large and no one has been arrested after the incident.
The vehicle and the eggs are at a police station and will be used in court as exhibits.