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Counterfeit products worth Sh1.2 billion seized over the last seven years

counterfeit

Port of Mombasa. Fake cigarettes valued at Sh43 million which were seized in 2012 were destroyed in Mombasa in 2014. file photo | nmg

Summary

  • ACA chief inspector Caspar Oluoch said so far counterfeit goods worth Sh500 million have been destroyed.
  • The head of the anti-counterfeit agency revealed that two containers of illicit sugar were seized in Mombasa in 2014.
  • The Anti-Counterfeit Agency has raised the alarm over counterfeit soft drinks and juices which are being sold across the country.

Counterfeit goods valued at Sh1.2 billion have been seized in the country by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) in the last seven years.

ACA chief inspector Caspar Oluoch said so far counterfeit goods worth Sh500 million have been destroyed.

He explained that the counterfeit cargo included electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, DVD players, toners, print cartridges and bulbs.

Other counterfeit goods included Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) refilling equipment, detergents as well as illicit sugar and rice.

Some of the fake goods the anti-counterfeit agency seized were cigarettes which had been imported from China which had been declared as cotton buds.

Mr Oluoch said the fake cigarettes valued at Sh43 million which were seized in 2012 were destroyed in Mombasa in 2014.

The head of the anti-counterfeit agency revealed that two containers of illicit sugar were seized in Mombasa in 2014.

The sugar had been imported from Brazil and then packed as a local brand sugar to prevent detection, he said.

Other seizures also over the last seven years included a half container of imported rice from Pakistan which had been branded as local rice.

“Through support from the customs administration, the police and other agencies we have been able to prevent counterfeit cargo worth Sh1.2 billion from getting into the market,” he said.

Speaking at PrideInn Beach Resort in Mombasa during an international workshop on combating counterfeits and piracy on Thursday, Mr Oluoch said the agency had heightened the war against counterfeit in a bid to protect Kenyans from harmful fake products.

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“The counterfeit and illicit goods are not only dangerous to people’s health but also affect the business of local manufacturers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency has raised the alarm over counterfeit soft drinks and juices which are being sold across the country.

Mr Oluoch said the counterfeiters use bottles of popular soft drink and juices and fill them up with fake drinks.

Such drinks he said are prevalent in Mombasa and Nairobi and some other towns.

“The counterfeiters use hawkers to sell the juices especially at bus terminuses and along the streets of towns,” he said.

To prevent drinking harmful juices, the ACA official called on the public to avoid buying juices being hawked at bus terminuses and in the streets.

The anti-counterfeit chief also raised alarm over fake text books and dictionaries being sold in the market.

“It is better for parents to buy books from authorised bookshops and text book dealers rather than buying books which are being hawked in the streets,” he warned.

On this, he said the ACA is working with the Kenya Publishers Association and the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation Educational Publishers to address the challenge.