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291 cartons of fake face masks seized at Namanga border

The Anti-Counterfeit Authority this week intercepted and nabbed 291 cartons of counterfeit face masks worth Sh500,000 at Namanga border as they were being brought in the country from Tanzania.

The agency has said it is in the process of investigating the incident for further arrests and prosecution.

According to Hussein Abdi, Namanga Border Post Inspector, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, the number of fake masks in the market have increased, as criminals look to make a killing from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The increased demand for these products poses an opportunity for criminals to capitalize on this vulnerability by selling fake face masks. We have nabbed these counterfeit products as part of our commitment to ensure that people do not take advantage of this Covid-19 pandemic to produce and sell contraband items,” he said.

The raid comes at a time when the country has many Kenyans shopping for items to keep their families safe following the presidential directive and from the Ministry of Health officials.

Elema Halake, Executive Director, Anti-Counterfeit Agency said they were working closely with law enforcement agencies to nab more culprits.

COUNTERFEIT

“We are monitoring various places to shield Kenyans from purchasing fake masks and sanitizers as Kenyans work to flatten the curve by preventing the spread of Covid-19,” Halake said.

The Authority reassured members of the public that it remains vigilant to detect and seize any counterfeit face masks and sanitizers.

It also reminded Kenyans that it is a criminal offense to deal in counterfeit goods and this punishable by law.

The number of those wearing masks in the country has increased after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said people should wear masks when going to supermarkets and while in open-air markets or risk a fine of Sh20,000 or six months in jail.

At the same time, Kitui County Textile Centre (KICOTEC) has been lauded for churning out as many as 30,000 face masks a day and selling them to private and public hospitals across the country.