Some industry captains are the biggest impediments to the war against fakes for condoning dishonest deals that rob the government of billions of shillings every year, the government says.
Investment and Industry principal secretary Betty Maina is now turning the spotlight on leading players after State compliance agencies impounded illicit goods worth more than Sh8.5 billion in a five-month operation through last October.
Ms Maina says the value of illicit goods confiscated is an indictment on the business community for not complying with trade laws and rules.
A multi-agency team, led by deputy head of Public Service Wanyama Musiambo, launched an operation from May last year, seizing counterfeit, sub-standard and smuggled goods worth billions.
Estimates have pointed to a loss of Sh200 billion every year in potential government revenue as a result of dealing in illicit goods, although no scientific study has been done in recent years.
“We are aware it has been disruptive because we have seen reduction in some activities in some sectors. But it is an indictment on the business community with reduced activity because it shows you have been making money from dodgy business,” Ms Maina said.
The multi-agency team comprises Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Immigration Department, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Inspector-General of Police, Financial Reporting Centre (FRC), National Intelligence Service, among others.
Mr Musiambo on Tuesday said most of the confiscated goods held at the port of Mombasa and in the capital Nairobi have been destroyed, while others are at different stages of determination by the courts.
President Uhuru Kenyatta led the destruction of the first batch of illicit goods confiscated by the multi-agency team worth Sh1.5 billion in Athi River on August 31, last year.