In Summary
  • The raids were conducted after a HP private-eye, Halliday Finch, informed the agency that two shops in the area were dealing in counterfeit HP products.
  • But the traders, through the Importers and Small Traders Association of Kenya (ISTA), claimed the agency stormed their premises despite a notice they issued earlier seeking guidelines and a cordial hunt for the products.

A section of small scale traders in Nairobi on Friday censured the Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) after chaos broke out as it raided several shops in the central business district and confiscated goods.

The raids were conducted after a HP private-eye, Halliday Finch, informed the agency that two shops in the area were dealing in counterfeit HP products, said Ibrahim Bulle, ACA’s officer in charge of enforcement of operations in the Nairobi region.

But the traders, through the Importers and Small Traders Association of Kenya (ISTA), claimed the agency stormed their premises despite a notice they issued earlier seeking guidelines and a cordial hunt for the products.

“They ambushed us early in the morning. Some shops which were not yet open were broken into and the goods therein; whether genuine or counterfeit, seized,” said Francis Njau, chairperson of the Crossroad Zone of the ISTA.

He claimed the agency broke into five shops, resulting in retaliatory attacks by traders, hence the chaos and the deployment of anti-riot officers.

NO TRUST

The traders further complained that it was becoming difficult to trust agencies as some conduct their incursions without letters of authority and representatives from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

They also said their competitors could be behind the swoops.

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