Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), in partnership with a multi-agency against illicit trade, on Thursday, destroyed contraband goods worth ksh1 billion ($10 million) at Stoni Athi, Kajiado County, south of Nairobi.
Products destroyed were 379,760 bottles of spirits, 60 drums of raw spirit, 35,615 bottles of beer, 11,000 bottles of wine, 197,000 packets of cigarettes, and several rolls of counterfeit excise stamps.
In collaboration with the multi-agency team, KRA impounded the products from traders in Nairobi and its environs.
President Uhuru Kenyatta established the team in 2018. It consists of various government agencies such as the Office of the President, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), and the Department of Public Health.
“llicit 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,” said KRA in a statement.
The taxmen noted they are still 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.
Among the strategies is leveraging state-of-the-art technologies such as the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS), which has yielded remarkable results in combating illicit trade in the alcoholic drinks sector and tobacco products since 2013.
KRA is also decentralizing the operations of its Enforcement Division to ensure that trade involving excisable goods is carried out within the confines of the law.
It is further leveraging on intelligence gathering to avert illicit trade and eradicate contraband goods. Members of the public have been urged to join hands with the government by divulging important information to the police or any other agency.
“We however warn perpetrators of illicit trade and traders dealing with contraband to cease the illegal practices or face the law. Traders found with illicit goods will have their premises closed and trade licenses were withdrawn,” added KRA.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.