Counterfeit electronics components have multiplied in recent years, according to Anti-Counterfeit Agency in Kenya. These include integrated circuits, relays, circuit breakers, phones, and cable assemblies, as well as connectors.
Acting Deputy Director of Research and Awareness, Agnes Karingu says electronic components in past research are the most counterfeited products with a leading percentage estimation of 79.7%.
Ms Karingu was speaking during the World Anti- Counterfeit Day (WACD) marked on June 28 at a Nairobi Hotel.
“Past research has shown that electronics are the mostly counterfeited products followed by medicine with a percentage of 14.0% then cosmetics,” she said.
Ms Karingu said the agency had recently destroyed products worth Ksh58 million, among them mobile phones worth Ksh50 million. “This is a clear indication that electronics are the most counterfeited product,” she said.
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These fake electronics pose a major threat to various sectors of the economy, including undermining the security and reliability of critical business systems, which cause massive losses in revenue to companies. It also threatens health and safety when, say, an implanted heart pacemaker stops, an auto braking system (ABS) fails, or a cellphone battery explodes.
She said advanced technology is contributing to the counterfeiting problem. “Technology is a good thing and a driver of development and innovation. But we have to appreciate that the same technology is also accessible to the counterfeiters,” she added.