KRA Impounds Bottles of Alcohol, Cigars, Shisha in Excisable Goods Crackdown

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) today led the Multi-Agency team on illicit trade in destroying illicit excisable products with a market value of over Kshs. 1.5 billion at stony Athi, Kajiado County. The products seized from various traders in Nairobi and its environs were being sold in contravention of various regulations as provided for under the Excise Duty Act and could have led to a loss of over Kshs. 400 Million in tax revenues.

Among the products destroyed, include 25,070 bottles of beer, 102,004 bottles of wine spirits packed in 82,538 bottles and 104,786 bottles of juice. Also destroyed was an assortment of machinery used in the production of some goods, 93, 670 bottles of water, 60, 000 fake excise stamps and 6, 450 packets of cigarettes. Other products which include cigars, cigarillos, and shisha packed in 50 packets, were also destroyed in the exercise.

“Today’s destruction exercise marks a significant milestone in the fight against illicit trade and contraband goods in the country. It underscores the government’s determination and keenness to annihilate the vices of illicit trade and contraband goods.” read the statement

KRA has hailed technologies such as Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS). The system has enhanced the tax man’s crackdown on products, majorly alcoholic drinks and tobacco products since its implementation in 2013.
This forms the basis of KRA’s inspiration to extend EGMS to non-alcoholic beverages and cosmetics, products which have in the recent past become a soft target by the lords of illicit trade.

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In addition, KRA has decentralised the operations of the Enforcement Division, which is tasked with market surveillance to ensure that the trade involving excisable goods is conducted within the confines of the law. More teams have been dispatched on the ground countrywide to step up combat against the vice.

The tax agency is also leveraging on intelligence gathering in combating illicit trade and contraband goods in the excisable goods sector.

Gathoni Kuria

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