15 January, 2009

The multi-billion counterfeit Industry

In an investigative report, the Standard details how wheeler-dealers in the counterfeit industry go about their “business”. From mobile phones to spirits, the counterfeit barons are able to imitate any “commodity.” All they require is a sample or even a photograph of the genuine item and they will have a fake one manufactured in China at a fraction of the retail price in Kenya.

The barons are also defrauding the Kenya Revenue Authority of billions of shilling by making fake revenue stamps that are mainly used by manufacturers of wines and spirits. For example, one Chinese baron was found with 25,000 pieces of revenue stamps each retailing at Ksh 5. The stamps are then sold to unregistered manufacturers to sell unlicensed wines and spirits. KRA is worried that the fake stamps are perfectly made to look real and a layman will not notice the difference.

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