The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the multi-agency team against illegal trade have destroyed illicit excisable goods worth over Ksh 1 billion in Stoni Athi, Kajiado County.
This team, established by the President in May 2018, is responsible for combating illicit trade.
It consists of various government agencies including the Office of the President, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), NACADA and the Department of Public Health.
In a statement, the Authority said the goods were confiscated from various traders in Nairobi and its environs and were being sold in violation of the Excise Duty Act and various regulations.
The Authority further added that the goods would have cost it Ksh 400 million in revenue losses.
“Illicit trade not only causes unfair competition to legally trading products in the market but also poses potential health hazards to unsuspecting consumers. Illicit trade and contraband goods are also harmful to the economy as they lead to loss of government revenue through tax evasion,” the statement read in part.
KRA said the destruction exercise marked a significant milestone in the fight against illicit trade and contraband goods in the country.
It further added that the exercise underscores the government’s commitment and determination in eradicating illicit trade in the country.
Among the goods destroyed include 379,760 bottles of alcohol, 60 drums of raw spirit, 35,615 bottles of beer, 11,000 bottles of wine, and 197,000 packets of cigarettes were among the items destroyed.
Several rolls of counterfeit excise stamps were also destroyed.
In addition, KRA noted that they are in the process of implementing key strategic measures geared towards combating illicit trade and contraband goods in the excisable goods sector to protect legitimate traders, consumers and government revenue.
Key among these strategies is leveraging state-of-the-art technologies such as the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS).
“Since its implementation in 2013, EGMS has yielded remarkable results in combating illicit trade in the alcoholic drinks sector and on tobacco products,” further read the statement.
According to the Authority, they have also decentralized the operations of their Enforcement Division.
This Division carries out market surveillance to ensure that trade involving excisable goods is carried out within the confines of the law.
By Beth Nyaga