Nairobi News


One arrested as police seize fake KRA stamps in Eastleigh

Police are holding one suspect in custody over the importation of a consignment of fake Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) stamps.

Detectives based at the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit on Wednesday said the counterfeit stamps are believed to have been brought into the country on March 7, 2023.

They were retrieved from a warehouse in Eastleigh, near Pumwani in Nairobi city during a police operation. Detectives recovered six rolls each with 24,000 KRA counterfeit stamps.

One suspect believed to be the owner was arrested and placed in custody at Muthaiga police station pending arraignment on Friday.

Police, anti-counterfeit and KRA officials have been camping at Eastleigh over claims of tax evasion nabbing counterfeited goods.

In the ongoing government crackdown targeting traders engaging in tax evasion schemes, detectives last week recovered a consignment of alcoholic drinks bearing fake KRA stamps in Makueni county.

In a raid conducted by detectives at a store in Kikima market, more than 3,000 bottles of alcoholic drinks bearing fake KRA stamps were recovered and confiscated.

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The raid followed intelligence-led investigations by a joint team of detectives and KRA officials who raided the premises belonging to one Daniel Musau.

Numerous brands that authorities exorcised from the market in the last two years are back on the shelves, while some manufacturers have reintroduced their drinks under different brand names.

In January, a licensed firearms holder was among six suspects who were arrested with fake KRA stamps.

According to the police, the said suspect was arrested at his residence in Thindigua, Kiambu County. He was also found in possession of a Glock pistol, loaded with 9 rounds of ammunition, which was subsequently seized by the police.

Detectives from DCI and KRA officials said the arrests came following an ongoing crackdown on counterfeit products in the market dubbed ‘Operation Uchumi.’

According to KRA, unscrupulous business operators are also recycling used bottles from legit players to package their substandard products while at the same time using fake KRA tax stamps to get their products on the shelves.

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This is despite all the efforts and technology that has been put in place, these unscrupulous traders have found ways of dodging the system through inventions that keep them ahead of the game, and the revenue systems at large.

One of the industries most affected by fake stamps that continue to deny KRA and legitimate traders revenue is the liquor industry which has seen an uncontrolled flow of substandard liquor for mass consumption.

The arrests come on the back of a recent directive by President William Ruto who ordered law enforcement agents to rein in unscrupulous businessmen selling counterfeit products to unsuspecting Kenyans in a bid to evade paying taxes.

The taxman in 2021 completed the rolling out of the latest version of excise stamps which are to be implemented in three phases.

The first phase was rolled out on alcohol products in early December, followed by the second phase on soft drinks and water towards the end of December. The last phase was tobacco and Keg beer products, which was done in February last year.

The stamps have had three reviews with the fourth coming in December last year, where security features have been enhanced.

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