The ghost of counterfeit importation continues to haunt the country with the latest incident being the destruction of 24 Million Shillings worth goods imported from foreign countries illegally.
The counterfeit goods which were imported through Mombasa port by unscrupulous importers mid-last year were set ablaze by a Multi-agency team led by Coast regional commissioner John Elungata at the former Kibarani dumpsite.
Speaking during the destruction of the counterfeited on Friday, Elungata reiterated that the government has intensified crackdown to seal loopholes used to import counterfeited goods.
The agencies include Kenya Police, Kenya Anti- counterfeit Agency, Directorate of criminal investigation-DCI, Mombasa and Kenya Bureau of Standards-KEBS. They had been stored at various go-downs in Mombasa and expired.
“The goods had evaded tax, and KRA reigned on them, others were imported and expired at the storage area which are go-downs, this according to government agencies have made them unsuitable for human consumption,” said Elungata.
So far nobody has been arrested as the owners of the goods volunteered themselves to police. The goods include Rice 4,412 bags of 50 Kgs and 1,166 bags of sugar packed in 50 kg bags each and 38 boxes of thermos flasks, maize flour in sacks, among other consumable goods.
“If you bring counterfeited goods in the country you will be caught and the law will catch up with you. We urge our people to expose traders who they suspect are doing suspicious business and selling in uncertified goods,” said Elungata.
The regional Boss has warned traders against repackaging expired food products and releasing them into the market saying they pose grave danger to consumers.
It is believed that the goods were waiting to be repackaged before hitting the market afresh.
[Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata addressing journalists at Kibarani during the destruction of counterfeit goods. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
“These goods were legally imported, but expired while in the storage,” Elungata said.
He said the war on contraband will be won if the public cooperates with government agencies by exposing unscrupulous traders.