The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in collaboration with the multi-agency team against illicit trade has destroyed illicit excisable products with a market value of Ksh1 billion, as the government escalates the war against contraband goods in the country.
The goods were destroyed on Wednesday at Stoni Athi, Kajiado County.
In a statement to newsrooms, the taxman said the products were seized from various traders in Nairobi County and other environs.
The goods, KRA said, were being sold in contravention of the Excise Duty Act and various regulations and would have resulted in a loss of taxes worth over Ksh400 million.
The products destroyed included 379,760 bottles of spirits, 60 drums of raw spirit, 35,615 bottles of beer, 11,000 bottles of wine and 197,000 packets of cigarettes.
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 exercise further underscores the government’s commitment and determination in eradicating illicit trade in the country,” the statement reads in part.
The multi-agency team that seized the products in various operations was established by the President in May 2018.
The team responsible for combating illicit trade consists of various government agencies including the Office of the President, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), NACADA and the Department of Public Health.
“Illicit trade not only causes unfair competition to legally trading products in the market but also poses potential health hazards to unsuspecting consumers. Illicit trade and contraband goods are also harmful to the economy as they lead to loss of government revenue through tax evasion,” said KRA.
One of the key strategies that have helped the taxman fight illicit trade is deployment of state-of-the-art technologies such as the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS).
According to KRA, since its implementation in 2013, EGMS has yielded remarkable results in combating illicit trade in the alcoholic drinks sector and on tobacco products.
KRA 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.
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Key among these strategies is leveraging on state-of-the-art technologies such as the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS). Since its implementation in 2013, EGMS has yielded remarkable results in combating illicit trade in the alcoholic drinks sector and on tobacco products.
“KRA is also leveraging on intelligence gathering to combat illicit trade and eradicate contraband goods in the country. We appeal to members of the public to join hands with the government in fighting this vice through provision of crucial information on any persons or businesses involved in this practice. Any information provided will be handled with utmost confidentiality,” KRA added.