, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 20 – Close to Sh800 million shillings worth of goods have been seized by the Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA) over the last five years with goods worth Sh520 million shillings destroyed for concluded cases, according to new statistics.
Speaking during the launch of the release of a second strategic plan in the war against fake products at a city hotel on Thursday, ACA Executive Director, Elema Haleke said that the agency has made great strides in the war against fake products in the market.
“The agency has made about 700 arrests and seized counterfeit goods in excess of Sh1.6 billion shillings and we have destroyed goods worth Sh700 million shillings,” said Haleke during the launch of a joint report on the state of counterfeiting.
According to ACA, alcoholic beverages, drugs and medicine, cigarettes, soaps and detergents, cosmetic and hair products are among the leading goods mostly counterfeited.
Haleke said that the agency in its fight against fake products in the market will strengthen its human capacity, finance and infrastructure. He further affirmed the need to strengthen institutional capacity in line with market demands and trends.
“ACA has trained and sensitized 116 officers involved in criminal justice system including judges, magistrates and prosecutors from the office of the directorate of public prosecutions.
“More than ever before, we seek to secure for this agency a sustainable funding model from the government and the stakeholders to support the war on counterfeits,” said Haleke.
Also present during the launch of a joint report on the state of counterfeiting in the East African region dubbed ‘The East African Community (EAC) Intellectual Property Regime (IPR)’, Ministry of Investment and Industry, Principal Secretary, Patrick Nduati Mwangi said Kenya now has legal and institutional preparedness to address theft of Intellectual property rights with ACA as the coordinating agency in the enforcement of intellectual property protection.
“Issues of counterfeit are well entrenched in our constitution and hence we have all the backing of the law to ensure that the issues of counterfeit are enforced. We know we have a critical role to play in powering trade in this country. We are committed to spurring innovation by having an Intellectual Property-friendly environment,” said Mwangi.
Mwangi said that the new developments will play a big role in stabilizing the economy and stimulating economic growth.
Effects of counterfeiting range from loss of jobs, fuelling of criminal activities, no consumer satisfaction, health and safety risks among others.
First offenders convicted of counterfeiting shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or fine in respect of each article or item involved not less than 3 times the value of the goods or both fine and imprisonment.
Second offenders or subsequent conviction will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 years or a fine not less than 5 times the value of the prevailing retail price of the goods or both fine and imprisonment.