MOMBASA: Illicit goods worth over sh. 10 Million were on Friday destroyed at the Bamburi Cement Factory Incinerator in Mombasa.
Speaking during the exercise, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade Chris Kiptoo said the goods were seized between 2017 and 2018.
“Destruction activities will go on around the country. We have launched country-wide enforcement The message should be clear to anyone involved in illicit trade; The Government will deal firmly with you without consideration of your social status, class or any other diversity,” said PS Chris Kiptoo.
The illicit goods included condemned rice and assorted counterfeit shoes, stationeries, beauty products and tonners.
“This rice was at the docks for more than two years, so what the owners did was repackage it into bags that pushed the expiry dates from 2017 to 2019,” added the PS.
During the exercise, Anti-Counterfeit Authority Executive Director Elema Halake cautioned the public against consumption of counterfeit products as they were adverse to their health and urged them to report any product they suspect is substandard.
“Most products that are targeted for counterfeiting are Fast Consumable Goods. We are warning all those involved in this counterfeit business,” he said.
This comes just as the Multi-Agency body is finalizing on a National Strategic Framework that will provide a clear roadmap for the collaborative efforts in combating illicit goods in partnership with the private sector.
“We chose Bamburi Cement for the incineration because it has an advance technology for destroying the products. The Incinerator here does not produce any smoke or products that are adverse to the environment,” he added.
According to a 2017 Anti-Counterfeit Authority Consumer Survey, Mobile Phones, Electronics, Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics, Alcoholic beverages & cigarettes and Stationeries are the most counterfeited goods. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers also reports that counterfeits account for 40% of the goods available in the country.
The destruction of goods in Mombasa is apart of the ongoing efforts by ACA and MAAITO members to curb illicit trade.