The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials have destroyed assorted contraband goods worth Kshs 9 million in Garissa County.
According to Garissa County commissioner Meru Mwangi who oversaw the exercise at the Garissa dumpsite, the illicit goods were intercepted from smugglers by security officers at various entry points on diverse dates.
“The goods were seized during the ongoing multi-agency crackdown on illicit goods. Most of them were concealed to evade payment of tax (import duty), while some were found to be counterfeit or substandard products,” Mwangi said.
“The goods had been smuggled into the country from neighbouring Somali,” he added.
Some of the items destroyed included 10 tonnes of sugar worth Ksh 908,300, 587 cartons of milk powder worth sh5,987,400, cartons of coconut oil worth Ksh 158, 400, used duvets and other assorted goods items.
Mwangi said that stern action will be taken against anyone found smuggling contraband goods into the country to create unnecessary competition in the market.
“These kind of products are not even fit for human consumption. That is why we are destroying them to send a clear message to all those dealing with illegal goods that their days are numbered,” he said.
Also present were officials from Kenya Bureau of Standard amongst other state agencies.
The county commissioner said all state agencies will work closely to prevent substandard products that are harmful to Kenyans from entering the country.
“We want to protect legitimate businesses who pay taxes to the government from unfair market competition,” he noted.
Mwangi urged members of the public to collaborate with security agencies by providing crucial information that will enable the government arrest the culprits.
KRA officials and other state agencies have been engaged on rigorous nationwide crackdown on illicit trade and counterfeits. This is part of KRA’s campaign against tax evasion and smuggling.
During the destruction a bulldozer first destroyed completely the items before officials dosed with paraffin and set them on fire.
Police had hard term in controlling members of the public who milled around the site with looters trying to snatch the good but all in vain.