11 July 2018

Tanzania: Kenya Hots-Up Crackdown On Fake Goods From Tanzania

Kenyan government has intensified a crackdown on counterfeit goods entering the country through the Taveta-Holili border post.

The Kenyan government claims that rogue traders use the porous border to transport contraband goods, which have significant impact on the economy and lives of Kenyans.

A spot check revealed that some of the goods sold at Taveta market, a town on the Kenya-Tanzania border, are substandard.

A multi-agency team including Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, National Anti-counterfeit Agency and the county security team have been inspecting goods coming into the county to ensure they meet set standards.

County police commander Halima Abdi said the agencies recently destroyed assorted goods intercepted at the border town to discourage the trade.

Ms Abdi said the goods comprised of water, alcoholic and soft beverages among others. She said security teams had been deployed to various border points.

"Our main focus is to stop the importation of these commodities. We realised that they were being brought in through informal routes and we have concentrated on those areas," she said.

Ms Abdi said that the agencies were monitoring the movement of goods into the country, adding that all rogue traders will be arrested.

Taveta Deputy County Commissioner Stanley Kamande said the team was conducting operations to ensure that goods that enter the country are safe for human consumption.

He said the team had collected samples of suspected contraband goods for testing.

"The goods will be cleared once we get results confirming that they are safe," he said. Some of the most common items ferried illegally in the country through the border are alcohol, soft drinks, soap, cooking oil, sugar, rice and toiletries.

Traders take advantage of the porous border to smuggle counterfeit goods into Kenya.

The illegal routes are unmanned allowing traders using bodabodas and other vehicles to cross at will without clearance from the immigration department.

A trader told the Business Daily that he preferred using illegal points for fear of being overcharged at the border station. However, traders accused some police officers of using the ongoing crackdown to extort money from them.

"Some officers have been frequenting my depot for bribes," said one who did not wish to be named.

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