Fake Chinese electronics worth Sh4.5m seized in downtown Nairobi
Kenya’s anti-counterfeit watchdog has busted a ring of traders involved in importing replica electrical products from China that bear trade names of American firms.
Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) officials last month carried out a sting operation at three shops located in downtown Nairobi and seized fake goods worth Sh4.5 million ($50,000) marketed as those manufactured by Oregon Products.
The three shops were found selling counterfeit Oregon products including fuel filters and rim sprockets for chainsaws.
They are located along River Road, Duruma Road and Masafi Kumasi Road.
“They will be taken to court next week. We have completed investigations and established the counterfeits were coming from China,” said Johnson Adera, ACA’s deputy director in charge of enforcement, prosecution and legal services.
The undercover operation by ACA followed a complaint by Oregon Products which claims it loses more than Sh91 million ($1 million) in sales annually due to counterfeits in the East African market.
ACA carried out the raids on December 3, 2014 at the three shops believed to be the main suppliers of the counterfeit products to other local dealers and neighbouring markets such as Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
“We are gathering intelligence and plan to carry out more raids. We believe the syndicate is bigger than what we found,” said Mr Adera.
The catalogue of detained counterfeit Oregon goods include chainsaws, replacement carburettors, bearings, and branded packaging products.
Oregon Products is based in Portland and manufactures goods such as saw chain, guide bars, sprockets, forestry accessories, lawn mower blades and outdoor equipment parts such as spark plugs, carburettors, hydro filters, air filters, belts, tires and tubes.
Statistics from the Kenya Association of Manufactures —an industrialists’ lobby —show that local industries incur an annual net loss of more than Sh30 billion while the government loses about Sh6 billion in potential tax revenue due to counterfeit trade.