KRA destroys contraband goods worth more than Ksh.1B


KRA destroys contraband goods worth more than Ksh.1B

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the multi-agency team against illegal trade destroyed illicit excisable goods worth Ksh.1 billion in Stoni Athi, Kajiado County on Friday.

According to the Authority, the goods confiscated from various traders in Nairobi and its environs were being sold in violation of the Excise Duty Act and various regulations.

The Authority said in a statement to the press that the goods would have cost it Ksh.400 million in revenue losses.

379,760 bottles of alcohol, 60 drums of raw spirit, 35,615 bottles of beer, 11,000 bottles of wine, and 197,000 packets of cigarettes were among the items destroyed.

Several rolls of counterfeit excise stamps were also destroyed.

“The destruction exercise marked a significant milestone in the fight against illicit trade and contraband goods in the country,” the Authority said on Friday. “The exercise further underscores the government’s commitment and determination in  eradicating illicit trade in the country. ”

The products were impounded during various operations carried out in collaboration with the multi-agency team.

The team, which was formed by the President in May 2018, is in charge of combating illegal trade. It is made up of various government agencies such as the President’s Office, the Ministry of Interior and National Government Coordination, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), NACADA, and the Department of Public Health.

Illicit trade not only causes unfair competition in the market for legally traded products, but it also poses potential health risks to unsuspecting consumers. It is also detrimental to the economy because they result in a loss of government revenue due to tax evasion.

“The Authority continues to implement key strategic measures geared towards combating illicit trade and contraband goods in the excisable goods sector to protect legitimate traders, consumers and government revenue,” KRA added.

Using cutting-edge technologies such as the Excisable Goods Management System is a key component of these strategies (EGMS).

Since its implementation in 2013, EGMS has produced impressive results in combating illicit trade in alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

The KRA’s Enforcement Division has also been decentralized.

This Division monitors the market to ensure that trade involving excisable goods is conducted within the bounds of the law.

“We have increased the number of surveillance teams deployed across the country to combat illegal trade,” KRA added.

KRA is also using intelligence gathering to combat illegal trade and eradicate contraband goods in the country.

“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 withdrawn,” the Authority said.

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