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Economy

Uhuru says Kenya losing billions in fake goods racket

Anti-counterfeit Agency officials inspect fake phones in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Anti-counterfeit Agency officials inspect fake phones in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya loses over Sh30 billion in revenue annually as a result of tax evasion, counterfeiting and unlicensed products, President Uhuru Kenyatta has told Parliament.

Mr Kenyatta says the Anti-Counterfeit Agency seized goods worth Sh1.7 billion in 2017 and destroyed counterfeit products worth over Sh700 million.

“Tax evasion, counterfeiting and unlicensed products like alcoholic and illicit brews in circulation in Kenya is denying the economy over Sh30 billion in annual revenue,” Mr Kenyatta said in a report on the State of the Nation’s Security that he tabled in Parliament when he addressed MPs during his annual State of the Nation’s Address last week.

He said counterfeiting affects employment, leads to loss of jobs and lowers foreign direct investment.

“The impact of counterfeits spans very broad scope ranging from consumer goods, cosmetics, automotive parts and pharmaceutical products, among others,” Mr Kenyatta said in the report.

He said Kenya’s geopolitical position and robust economic environment makes it attractive both as a transit route and destination for counterfeits and illicit trade.

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