KRA seizes Sh4 billion illicit goods in half year

Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters at the Times Tower in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Revenue Authority seized goods worth more than Sh4 billion in six months as the multi-agency team set up by President Uhuru Kenyatta stepped up raids, arrests, and destruction of illicit goods.

Most of the goods impounded include assorted goods (28.47 percent), aircraft parts (18.12 percent), agricultural products (16.56 percent), motorcycles, and motor vehicle parts (7.20 percent), and metallic products (4.58 percent).

The KRA said it has prosecuted 74 offenders and destroyed goods worth Sh13.4 million which were being smuggled from the northern borders of the country.

“In collaboration with various government agencies, we conducted 1,104 operations to eliminate illicit trade. The operations were carried out across all counties and goods worth Sh4.08 Billion were seized as the perpetrators were arrested,” Terra Saidimu, the KRA commissioner for Intelligence said.

Most of the offenders were caught with smuggled, counterfeited, diverted, uncustomed and expired products.

The team comprising of the KRA, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and Government Chemist was set up in 2018.

The raids led to the seizure of sugar, edible oils, and fertiliser which underwent verification and testing.

They have since accumulated over the years while some have been released to their owners following legal disputes and settlement for alternative use of the goods, including conversion to ethanol and soap.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said that some importers requested to be allowed to use edible oils that had expired as raw materials for such products as soap.

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