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Unearthed:Billions worth of fake goods are on market

A kenyan Ports Authority officer inspects some bags of sugar in one of the sixteen containers. Photo/Courtesy

Millions of Kenyans have been using a wide array of consumer goods and home appliances that could be fake according to a report by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

After interrogating 32 top officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and officials from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) at DCI headquarters, Detectives unearthed suspect goods worth billions of shillings that were imported between December 2017 and last month.

The officials were arrested on Saturday 22 and are set to appear in court today, Monday, to face charges of allowing entry of contraband goods.

According to detectives millions of Kenyans are in danger for taking and using contaminated goods that fall short of the stipulated quality standards.

In a nine-page report, the DCI detailed the certificates of imports, the names of firms that imported the suspect goods, their quantities, dates, clearing agents and tax due.

The goods include thousands of tonnes of rice, fertiliser, shoes, tyres, hardware goods, stationery, vacuum flasks, textile products, electronics, mobiles phones and phone spares, diapers, headphones, cooking oil, sanitary towels, chocolate, garments and alcoholic beverages.

Others include pet foods, food supplements, school bags, auto spares, roses, disposable medical gloves, toothpaste, milk powder, juice drinks, wheat flour, cereals, protective paints, detergents, cotton swabs, noodles, spaghetti, peanut butter and pasta.

Speaking to the press the Director Directorate of Criminal Investigations Mr. George Kinoti said those arrested will appear in court on Monday to face various charges ranging from abuse of office, breach of trust, wilful disobedience of statutory duty and neglecting official duty by allowing substandard goods that are prejudicial to public health and safety.

Among those nabbed are KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki Nzau and suspended KEBS MD Charles Ongwae among other officials form KEBS, KRA, KPA and other clearing agents.

The DCI explained that some of the goods had failed to meet quality standards but were allowed into the country while KRA officers gave the importers tax clearances.

In the period of December 2017 to June 2018, the DCI dossier shows that 20 firms imported 314 20ft containers of substandard rice mainly from Pakistan and some from Thailand. This is about 7,000 tonnes or about 6.2 million kilogrammes.

One of the companies brought in the biggest consignment of 88 containers of 20-foot containers, which translates to about 1,930 tonnes, followed by Isgar Group Kenya Limited, which brought in 40 containers or 880 tonnes.

17 firms imported 24 containers of women’s shoes, synthetic slippers, PVC gumboots, and safety shoes that did not meet the standards.

Three other firms were cited for importing four containers of bicycle and truck tyres and motorcycle inner tubes that did not conform to the standards.
Two companies shipped in one 20ft container of washing detergent and soap noodles respectively while another one brought in black tea.

Other firms shipped in one 40ft container of face helmets, three 40ft containers of roofing nails, one 40ft container of assorted rearward, two 20ft containers of floor tiles, and one 20ft container of steel bars according to the report.