Counterfeit goods worth sh 590 million destroyed

Some of the counterfeit goods nabbed in Nairobi during a past crackdown./COURTESY

You have probably used or is currently using a counterfeit product without your knowledge.

Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) seized goods worth sh.590 million and destroyed sh.23 million worth of counterfeit products from June to December last year.

According to data from ACA sh.2.06 billion worth of goods have been seized since the inception of the agency in 2010.

Data from ACA shows that out of all the products, the most counterfeited goods were electronics followed by pharmaceuticals & cosmetics, alcohol, beverages & cigarettes and finally stationery.

Of consumers who buy the counterfeit goods, 19% did so knowingly while 81% purchased the products unknowingly.

The data by ACA also reveals that 49.6% of counterfeit goods consumers purchase the products because they are cheap while 17.3% choose counterfeit because of unavailability of the original product. 18.3% buy the fake products because they are unaware of the risks while 14.9% have other reasons.

Speaking at a briefing in Nairobi, ACA chair Flora Mutahi said that counterfeit products in the market put the big four agenda at risk as it affects health, due to the counterfeit drugs, and chases away investors.

“The nature of illicit trade is such that it tends to thrive where graft and corruption is entrenched,” said Flora.

“In addition to infiltrating the cost of sales and aiding under declaration, illicit trade catalyzes smuggling of uncustomed goods,” she added.

Out of the 47 counties, Nairobi, Mombasa, Lamu, Kisii, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kitui and Machakos are listed among hotspots where counterfeit goods are sold.

“Illicit trade accounts for 6.4 billion dollars lost to the economy, over sh.200 billion annually, as potential income, according to recent statistics from the government,” the ACA chair said.