Mombasa, KENYA: A three day workshop that brought together delegates from 15 countries in the world to discuss counterfeit products ended on Friday in Mombasa.
The workshop was aimed to provide stakeholders with different ways of distinguishing genuine and fake goods, as well as customs operational services when it comes to the seizure the counterfeit goods.
A representative of the World Customs Organization Ms. Sandra Wens said African countries are prone to counterfeit medicines, which they are consumed unknowingly but people.
“ African countries are very vulnerable for this ever growing phenomenon of counterfeit and substandard medicines, we are key player in the protection of health and safety of citizens. And often we rely on agencies and stakeholders involved to seize those goods to stop those criminal to stop further activities.” said Ms. Sandra
She added that counterfeit medicines that are cheap and readily available to the market has caused death of innocent people who have consumed counterfeit medicines.
“ Even one counterfeit medicine can kill and the counterfeiters do not care about the health and safety of people, they just want to make profits and it’s a big profit to them.” She said.
“They use some powder or even concrete they put some coloring and they have a pill and they sell it into the market and a lot of people don’t even know that they are buying counterfeit medicines.” She added.
The representative of the Institute of Research against Counterfeit Medicine Mr. Wilfid Roge, said some terrorists groups in the world are also involving themselves in illegally selling counterfeit medicines so as get money to finance their terrorist activities.
“We have evidence that Hesbollah sometimes they were selling counterfeit medicine so as to finance their activities. Boko Haram also has money from different illegal activities but how much are they involve inside the counterfeit medicine we do not know!” He wondered.
Mr. John Bisonga a customs and border control officer at the Kenya Revenue Authority, urged the participants to be vigilant in fighting the counterfeit goods saying that counterfeiters are using fake documentations during the trans- shipment of the counterfeit goods.