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Kenya now losing Sh70b to counterfeiters

COUNTIES
By - | February 6th 2013

By Vincent Mabatuk

Nakuru, Kenya: The country is losing more than Sh70 billion annually to counterfeit products.

The Anti-Counterfeit Agency has said fast moving products are the most counterfeited and it is a challenge identifying such products.

The agency said the Government loses Sh19 billion in tax revenue through Kenya Association of Manufacturers while private sector loses Sh50 million due to counterfeit goods alone.

 Anti-Counterfeit Agency Assistant Director Agnes Karigo while addressing an awareness seminar in Nakuru said every sector has a play in the fight against the menace.

Most affected

“The agency is on the forefront in fighting counterfeits in the country and has spent most of its time in establishing a strong foundation to carry out its activities in the fight against this menace since its inception less than a year ago,” said Ms Karigo.

She listed soap and detergents, pens, branded stationery, electrical and electronic equipment as the most counterfeited goods.

“To weed out the problem, the agency is training various representatives from Government departments who will spearhead the fight,” she said.

 Karigo was addressing participants mainly from the police, Ministry of Health and Information drawn from Central Rift, South Rift, and North Rift regions.

 She announced plans to eliminate illicit trade and counterfeits in all sectors and involve the Judiciary.

More complaints

Karigo said they have received 200 complaints from the manufacturers and consumers across the country concerning counterfeits.

“Most of these cases are reported by the manufacturers, traders and even the consumers. The law is clear on this, when found guilty, the counterfeiters are legible to a fine five times the value of goods or not less than 15 years in prison,” she said.

 She said plans are under way to stem the menace in East Africa Community member States.

The agency’s public relations officer Tom Odinde urged importers to register their products to curb counterfeits.

“Importers have a role in fighting counterfeit products and the agency is ready to work with other stakeholders to fight against counterfeits,” he said.

Counterfeighters operate across East Afric region and deny regional governments much needed revenue.

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