An Indian firm awarded a tender by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) for the supply of secure standardisation mark stickers and stamps has denied reports that it’s doing shoddy work leading to proliferation of fake products in the market.
Madras Security Printers now says fake standardization strikers allegedly being used in the market did not originate from their firm.
Reacting to recent press reports alluding to a well-orchestrated scheme by unscrupulous traders to evade quality checks by Kebs, the firm maintained the stickers they manufacture are in line with tender specifications.
“All Import Standardization Marks (ISM) are made as per the specifications in the tender. Fakes may be present in the market but they do not originate from us. Consumers should authenticate the overt security features on the marks such as the country map of Kenya which changes colour from black to green,” the firm said.
“We fully deny the allegations,” said Madras Senior Manager Ramachandran Natarajan.
Speaking to Saturday Standard, the officials of the company said they had provided additional security features on product stickers above the tender requirements and that the source of the fake stickers should be investigated and prompt action taken.
Kebs had floated the stickers tender in January 2015. Madras Security Printers Private, Systemedia Technologies, Sintel Security Printers Solutions, Pinnacore Printers, SICPA Security Solutions SA and De La Rue were the bidders.
“All our products are manufactured using state of the art equipment. Our systems are fully secure,” Natarajan said. “Where we operate inside Kebs premises has several access control technologies. The encoding centers are under surveillance.”
The reaction came amid reports of contraband sugar worth millions of shillings being impounded in Webuye and Eastleigh, with pressure mounting on Kebs and the Kenya Revenue Authority to shed light on the revelations.
“It is important to note that the Kebs marks present on the counterfeit sugar that may have been netted are all standardization marks. These marks are not manufactured by Madras Security Printers. We only manufacture the Import Standardization Marks (IMS),” the firm added.
Import Standardization Marks stamps are affixed to imported goods before they are sold to consumers locally in Kenya.
They are a mark of quality assurance about the health and safety of products including food, toys, electrical goods and alcohol. The mark contains information regarding the import, brand name, product number, county of origin and certificate of compliance.
“For the last 10 to 15 years we have been doing security printing for various government agencies in Kenya. We have also worked for KRA,” added Natarajan mentioning his firm’s experience with security printing.