It has emerged that senior Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) officials have been colluding with an Indian firm to flood the market with fake mark-of-quality stickers which are used to authenticate contraband goods.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the officers collude with Madras Security Printers Private Ltd to defeat the intent of the contract for the supply of Impact Standardisation Mark (ISM) stamps for Ksh882 million.
“Investigations have established that the award of the contract to Madras Security Printers Private Ltd was marred with irregularities and illegalities,” says the DPP, as quoted by a local daily.
Investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed that the ISM stickers from Madras Security Printers Private Ltd lacked a traceability system.
“They are also not tamper-proof as required by the contract — they are made using ordinary adhesive papers,” reports the Nation.
It is reported that the stickers can even be copied by rogue business people and still retain security features such as details of a product, the importer and the Certificate of Conformity (COC) number.
“Due to failure to comply with the terms of the contract, sub-standard goods have been recovered from the market and individuals subsequently charged with possession of counterfeit Kebs ISM stickers,” says the DPP.
However, the original stickers should not retain the features in case they are photocopied.
This has left the consumers exposed to the influx of fake goods.
This is in contrast to international approved security specifications — be tamper-proof and not be duplicatable or easily photocopied. They were equally supposed to be easily distinguishable by the general public by use of the Kebs ISM scanner, a mobile phone application.
The Indian firm is owned by Prathap Singh, Arul Prathan Singh, Sam Prasad, Asir Prathan Singh, Suseela Rajah, Ponmani Prasad, Ramachadran Nataarajan and Rajah Sunder Singh.
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