KRA intercepts Ksh87.38m illicit goods in six months
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) intercepted goods worth more than Sh87.38 million in six months to March 2022, as it stepped up border surveillance against prohibited goods.
Most of the seized goods which have either been destroyed or detained pending investigation include sugar, milk, petroleum products, motorcycle and motor vehicle parts, and assorted goods mainly from the Airports and borders in the Northern corridors.
KRA data over the stated period shows that it seized a combined total of more than 55,000 kilogrammes of sugar worth Sh5.05 million. Diesel amounting 12,500 litres worth Sh704,000 and milk powder estimated at over Sh1.35 million was also intercepted in the same period.
The taxman says that it is currently investigating approximately 8,480 litres of diesel that were smuggled into the country through the Isiolo border in March 2022, around the time when far-flung areas suffered most of the acute artificial fuel shortage that hit the entire country for weeks.
“We are working with relevant government agencies such as standard authorities to ensure that those importing products have relevant permits, including destination inspection to validate that whatever was declared is actually what has come into the country,” said Bernard Kibiti, chief manager, Nairobi customs station.
Hard to intercept
The taxman has, however, conceded that some prohibited and restricted products are steadily becoming hard to intercept considering their multipurpose usage, highlighting gaps that allow traders to declare misleading purposes of imported items.
“Items such as ammonium which are both for normal agricultural use and military purpose is a key area of concern and KRA is moving towards taming that,” said Kibiti.
Other products seized during the period were alcoholic products, edible oil and food items. In 2018, the government commissioned a multi-agency team comprising of KRA, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, and Government Chemist to fight counterfeiting, illicit and uncustomed products in the country.
It is estimated that Kenya loses up to Sh100 billion yearly to counterfeiting activities alone, denying the government opportunity to meet its financial obligations while putting manufacturers at risk.