The Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) has impounded a consignment of counterfeit textbooks valued at over Sh.20 million at the Namanga Border Post.
A raid conducted on Saturday by a multi-agency operation netted the counterfeit textbooks bearing names of Kenyan Publishers and other goods like assorted soap, shoes, drinks and door locks.
The ACA Executive Director, Elema Halake, said the goods which were on transit into the Kenyan market from Tanzania include: 8,736 copies of The Pearl, published by New Longman Literature, 6720 copies of The Inheritance, published by Longhorn, 16,200 copies of A Doll’s House, published by the East Africa Educational Publisher and 4,800 copies of Memories We Lost, published by Moran Publishers.
The counterfeit textbooks according to ACA, have spelling mistakes and missing pages.
Other goods seized include 1800 pieces of imperial leather soap, 1,860 pieces of door locks and assorted shoes of Nike, Gucci, Fila and Adidas brands.
The goods, which were kept at a warehouse, are suspected to have been shipped through the Dar es Salaam port and transported by buses and trucks to Namanga.
Halake said the total value of the seized counterfeit goods was Sh.22 million adding that the agency had put in place measures to ensure that fake goods are seized before they enter the market.
He added that the government was committed to ensuring that illicit trade through counterfeit and contraband goods is eliminated.
The Executive Director noted that apart from counterfeit goods endangering the lives of Kenyans, the government was also losing a lot of revenue as the goods are not taxed.
The Kenya Publishers Association, James Odhiambo revealed that cartels involved in publishing of fake text books have upped their game by relocating to neighbouring countries where they print the books and sneak them back into the country.
Odhiambo urged parents to be on the lookout when purchasing textbooks and only buy books authorized by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
The seizure comes weeks after traders and importers raised alarm over the increasing volumes of counterfeit goods entering into the Kenyan market and often stored in warehouses in Nairobi run by foreigners.
The traders complained that they incur huge loses and some have been forced out of business as the counterfeits are much cheaper.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in August 2018 witnessed the destruction of counterfeit goods worth Sh.1.5 billion at the East African Portland Cement Company in Athi River, Machakos County.
The destroyed items, included motor vehicles, cigarettes for exports, blood collection tubes, expired pharmaceuticals, trust condoms, expired Barclays Visa cards, toothpaste and brushes, beer and wine, spaghetti for export, electrical cables, assorted extension cables and tomato sauce.
Others were 1,400 bags of contraband sugar, rice, cotton bands, assorted diapers, construction tiles, energy saving bulbs, sandalwood, paints, and roofing iron sheets.
Since 2013, the government has seized counterfeit and contraband goods worth Sh.14 billion. Goods worth Sh2 billion have since been destroyed.
By Rop Janet