KRA destroys Ksh.1 billion worth of Contraband Goods

KRA destroys Ksh.1 billion worth of Contraband Goods

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has destroyed goods worth Ksh.1 billion in its strongest move yet in the campaign against illicit trade and tax evasion on excisable goods.

Among the products destroyed were 379,760 bottles of spirits, 60 drums of raw spirit, 35,615 bottles of beer, 11,000 bottles of wine and 197,000 packets of cigarettes. Several rolls of counterfeit excise stamps were also destroyed.

The products seized from various traders in Nairobi and its environs were being sold in contravention of the Excise Duty Act and various regulations during the 2020/2021 financial year. The operation also led to the arrest of 33 traders.

According to the KRA Commissioner of Domestic Taxes, Risper Simiyu, the goods would have denied the public coffers up to KSh. 400 million in revenue.

She said, “There are mainly alcoholic drinks mainly beer, spirits and cigarettes. You may also have seen water so it is mainly excisable goods. The goods were nabbed from the Rift Valley and Central regions.”

The destruction exercise, which cost KSh. 500,000, was conducted on Wednesday at Stoni Athi in Kajiado County.

KRA Commissioner Simiyu further said the Authority will not abate in its efforts to eradicated contraband goods. “It could have been more but some took off but It does not mean we have given up because we know where they are.” She added.

KRA impounded the products during various operations carried out in collaboration with the multi-agency team. This team, established by the President in May 2018, consists of various government agencies including the Office of the President, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), NACADA and the Department of Public Health.

U.S. based economic policy lobby group, The Borgen Project estimates that illicit trade robs Kenya’s economy of over KSh. 97 billion ($900 million) annually.

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