KISUMU, Kenya, Sep 20-Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Monday said it has seized counterfeit goods worth Sh. 16 million in Western Kenya region as the government rolled out a 30-day Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) to stamp out counterfeit and contraband goods.
KRA Western Regional Coordinator Pamela Ahago, who spoke during the launch of RRI, said the region is littered with substandard goods which finds entry through the porous borders in Lake Victoria.
Ahago said over recent months, KRA has been battling the counterfeits which usually comes directly from licensed manufacturers.
“We are concerned about these goods and we have mounted a serious surveillance with a few of eliminating them from our midst,” she said.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner (RC) Magu Mutindika, who was also present during the launch said a multi-sectoral body will carry out the RRI within the stipulated time with an aim of getting desired results.
He said the team that will be composed of security agencies, KRA, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and National Authority for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) officers will look critically on the chain of the products.
Mutindika added that more energy will be diverted towards checking goods being smuggled through the borders points.
“There are people who have been licensed by the government to manufacture some products, but some of these products do not meet the required standards,” he said.
He noted that the chain of the products will be put into scrutiny to ensure the consumer gets value for money.
“We know some retail shops interfere with the products, lowering the quantity, we will check all this,” he said.
Mutindika called for a concerted effort to root out the vice and arrest those contravening government rules.
Ahago further called for enhanced security for KRA officers who have been attacked by smugglers in Bumala and Isebania in Busia and Migori counties respectively..
“I am happy with this team since it will help our enforcement team who do this work daily and encounter a number of challenges,” she added.