· Over One Million Shillings worth counterfeit devices seized
· Inspection Raid Reveals evolving strategies for phone counterfeiting through deception, by misrepresenting inferior phones as Samsung devices, hence fleecing customers.
Nairobi: Tuesday, 26th February 2019: The Anti-Counterfeit Agency this morning raided Mobile phone retailers on Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi CBD and recovered counterfeit Samsung devices, estimated to cost nearly one million Kenya shillings. The sting operation was targeted at small scale retailers selling counterfeit Samsung mobile phones, by misrepresenting inferior phones as Samsung devices, hence fleecing customers.
Speaking during the raid, Peter Mutula, a Brand Protection Expert for Samsung, stated that counterfeiting has evolved and from the point of manufacturing, importation, distribution and wholesale where the products bear a consistent brand name. It is a complex web of deception and only at the retail level are these products changed and branded with the Samsung information and offered to consumers as counterfeited products.
“It is only at the end of the supply chain which is the retail level when other brand names (often of inferior quality) are removed and counterfeit accessories such as back covers, battery wrappers and screen guards bearing the Samsung logo/sticker are put onto the devices. The gadgets are then sold as counterfeited Samsung mobile phones, fleecing purchasers and exposing them to health and safety risks”, added Mutula.
He stated that the operation was aimed at protecting the Samsung consumers by supporting the government’s ant-illicit war to create a win-win outcome not only for consumers but brand owners and the government. He further went on to reiterate that the trading of counterfeited goods affects the government as they lose billions of shilling in loss of taxes.
Last week the Anti-Counterfeit Agency under the auspices of the Multi-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Outreach (MAAITO) destroyed illicit goods worth over Kshs. 10 Million at the Bamburi Cement Factory Incinerator in Mombasa. The illicit goods, including condemned rice and assorted counterfeit shoes, stationeries, beauty products and tonners were seized between 2017 and 2018.
“As a Ministry, we are committed to facilitating and not frustrating businesses and investors. We also care for the consumers by protecting them from the harmful effects of purchasing and using illicit goods, which are often of inferior quality and standards”, said Dr. Kiptoo during the destruction exercise.
State Department of Trade, PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo PS has said that unfair trade practices negatively impact on the country’s economy, Ease of Doing Business and the local manufacturing industry. These loses have also touched the public sector as illicit and counterfeited trade has enabled the evasion of payment of huge amounts of taxes with each passing financial year.