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Sh8.5bn fake goods seized in six months: agency

Anti-Counterfeit Agency
Anti-Counterfeit Agency Chief Executive Officer Mr Elema Halake. PHOTO | FADHILI FREDRICK | NMG 

Counterfeit goods cumulatively valued at Sh8.5 billion have been seized by government agencies from May to October, Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) Chief Executive Officer Elema Halake has said.

Mr Halake said ACA has seized counterfeit goods worth Sh1.8 billion and charged more than 200 suspected criminals in its contribution in the fight against illicit trade.

Most of the goods seized were household appliances, foodstuffs, motor vehicle spare parts, cooking gas, cigarettes and textiles, Mr Halake said.

He was addressing the media on Thursday at PrideInn Hotel in Diani during a workshop on combating counterfeit goods.

He said the government under the multi-agency framework has heightened the war against counterfeits to insulate Kenyans from harm that may arise from the use of such commodities.

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

"We are here under multi-agency framework against illicit trade to reach out to the public in the Coast region and law enforcement agencies responsible for dealing with the issues of illicit trade," he said.

Legitimate trade

He said lot of manufacturing industries are running out of business because of the effect of the influx of counterfeit goods.

"We are here to promote and facilitate legitimate trade such that the business taking place in our country is legitimate and products which are going to be sold in our markets are safe for the people and our country," he said.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Director-General Mr Pavel Oimeke they are working with Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure substandard gas cylinders either imported or manufactured in the country are eliminated.

"The government is aware that illicit gas which does not meet the market standards is illegal transported to the country through the porous boarders," he said.

He cautioned the public when buying gas cylinders to check out for the expiry date, saying that there are gas cylinders that no not meet the standards in terms of structural identity.

"We are ware of substandard gas cylinders being sold in the market and the consumer should check out for a validation date which is contained in the cylinders.

"Our standards require that a gas cylinder which is more than eight years old must be taken back to the brand owner and revalidate it," he said.

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