KENYA, MAY 22 — Kenyan authorities have seized 21 foreign registered motor vehicles with an estimated value of Ksh30 million.
The Vehicles, 19 of which bore Tanzanian number plates, were seized over the weekend in a swoop conducted by the Kenya Revenue Authority Enforcement Units in the Coast Region.
The operation was conducted in Mombasa and the Kenyan-Tanzania border towns of Lunga Lunga and Taveta.
The move is part of an ongoing crackdown to eradicate all forms of contraband including prohibited goods and motor vehicles imported into the country illegally.
The vehicles were detained after the owners failed to submit valid import documents to support entry of the same into the country.
Further, most of the seized vehicles were being driven by Kenyans instead of foreigners as required by the law, the taxman said.
The owners of the Vehicles are suspected to have contravened Sec 117 of East African Customs Management Community ACT, 2004 as read together with Regulations 134-137 of the East African Customs Management Regulations, 2004.
“Investigations are ongoing and those who will be found culpable will either be prosecuted or shall be required to regularize the importation of these vehicles,” KRA deputy Commissioner, Southern Region Nicholas Ngeera said.
However, all over age vehicles (over 8 years) which are prohibited imports shall be condemned and destroyed, the authority said.
Kenyan authorities have embarked on a major operation to curb illegal and counterfeit goods being imported-exported into the country.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently appointed deputy head of Public Service, Wanyama Musiambu to spearhead the fight against illicit trade in the country, a move that has begun bearing fruits.
The initiative has received the backing of the private sector, mainly manufacturers.
According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers chairperson Flora Mutahi, illicit trade and counterfeit goods are a major impediment to the country achieving its economic goals.
“A study on the vice of counterfeiting in Kenya, which was done in 2012, revealed that Kenyan manufacturers are losing at least 40 per cent of their market share to counterfeiters,” Ms Mutahi noted.
An approximate US$ 42 million (Ksh30 billion) is lost by Kenyan manufacturers per year, while the Government loses US$80million (Ksh6 billion) annually as potential tax revenue, according to KAM.