Kiptoo, accompanied by the Director, Weights and Measures Department, Michael Onyancha among other government officials,witnessed the destruction of the illicit goods, including condemned rice and assorted counterfeit shoes, stationeries, beauty products and tonners were seized between 2017 and 2018.
Speaking during the exercise, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon Peter Munya lauded the joint outreach efforts in scaling up the war on illicit trade since inception in May 2018, citing the crucial role it plays in supporting attainment of the Big Four Agenda. Since inception in May 2018, over Kshs 8 billion worth of illicit goods were seized through the multi-agency efforts.
“Today we are in Mombasa. We will not stop here, destruction of illicit goods will go on around the country,” said Kiptoo.
He said so far, the National Government has seized and destroyed illicit goods worth over Sh2 billion over the last one year.
“We have launched country-wide enforcement activities in all corners of the country. 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 Kiptoo.
He said the Kenyan market has been infiltrated with counterfeit products, however, most of the time, Kenyans look at illicit trade as other government’s problem.
“When we individually suffer from the economic, health and safety consequences, that is when we realize that we are all victims,” said the PS.
Kiptoo announced that an Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum and Technical Working Group representing all the enforcement agencies has been set up and gazetted.
He said the working group has since come up with a National Strategy for Combating Illicit Trade.
“We will soon validate the strategy through stakeholder participation and as we look forward towards its launch in March this year,” he said.
‘’By destroying these products, it is my hope that we are sending the right message to our investors. Kenya is your destination of choice for investment. We also want to send a strong warning to the economic saboteurs that we will not condone trade in illegal goods in this country,’’ noted Dr. Chris Kiptoo, the PS Trade during the event.