The Anti-Counterfeit Agency today destroyed goods worth Ksh100 million as it takes the fight against counterfeiting a notch higher. The goods destroyed at EPZ Athi River comprised fast moving consumer goods, electrical goods, clothing and apparel as well as stationery, which were replicas of popular local and international brands.

The goods had been seized by the Anti Counterfeits Agency over the last three months from different parts across the city, especially Nairobi’s Industrial Area and the CBD. ACA Ag Deputy Director Agnes Karingu  said the agency would protect businesses from losses experienced due to intellectual property theft.

“We understand the impact that counterfeiting has on the economy. From loss of tax revenues and jobs to reduction in the amount of investments from both local and international businesses as well as exposing Kenyans to dangers,” she said.

She added that the agency has increased surveillance through collaboration with different law enforcement agencies as well as officials from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the private sector to fight counterfeiting.

“We have been undertaking training for magistrates and prosecutors in a bid to improve the management of cases relating to intellectual property rights violations and counterfeiting. The agency has also worked with officials from both public and private sectors to enhance their skills in identification of counterfeits,” she said.

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Among the companies that ACA has partnered with in fighting counterfeiting in the country include Samsung Electronics. A market leader in the mobile phones and consumer electronics market, Samsung Electronics has been at the forefront to create public awareness on how to distinguish the genuine devices from the counterfeits.

According to Patricia King’ori, Head of Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics East Africa, the company has been working closely as one of the key stakeholders with the agency to ensure that counterfeit products are mopped out of the market.

Estimates indicate that the trade in counterfeit goods is roughly 2.5 per cent of world trade. Locally, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) estimates that the private sector loses Ksh50 billion annually in sales revenue while the government loses Ksh19 billion as tax revenue due to counterfeiting.

Globally, statistics from the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) indicates that trade in counterfeit and pirated products has increased by over 80% in a five-year period. IP theft poses a risk to all industry sectors; those most commonly affected by IP theft are manufacturing, consumer goods, technology, software, and biotechnology, including pharmaceuticals.

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