In Summary
  • The Kenya Publishers Association estimates that pirated books constitute 30 per cent of the total market of school books.
  • Publishers urged education stakeholders to ensure that learners purchase books from accredited sellers.

At an old dingy building on the busy Duruma Road in downtown Nairobi, a cartel has been operating undetected, shipping in bogus goods worth millions of shillings before distributing them to wholesalers and retailers.

When detectives from the Anti-Counterfeit Authority raided a warehouse at Nyamakima Complex on Friday morning, they thought they had exposed a racket dealing only in fake school books, only to discover more.

From what was initially supposed to be a brief visit and arrest of the prime suspect, Mr Joseph Mungai, the detectives spent a better part of the day combing through several other warehouses in the building. During the operation, fake toiletries, shoe polish, beverages and banned plastic bags were also found.

Counterfeit

Mr Joseph Mungai, a suspected counterfeit goods trader, was arrested by Anti-Counterfeit Authority officers during a raid at a store in Nyamakima, Nairobi, on October 4, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

SOPHISTICATED

The cartons upon cartons found carried Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) revision books and set books.

A majority of them are being used in secondary schools, making the institutions a rich target. Those confiscated include A Doll’s House, Memories we Lost, Blossoms of the Savannah, Chozi la Heri, Kigogo and Inheritance. Books by at least seven publishers were discovered at the warehouse. Detectives say the area is notorious for black market products.

The Kenya Publishers Association estimates that pirated books constitute 30 per cent of the total market of school books, massively undercutting genuine suppliers.

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