The Government’s directive that every Kenyan wears protective masks in public places has left Kenyans at the hand of quacks looking at benefitting from the inadequacy of face masks in the country.
Barely a month after the government warned Kenyans to be conscious of counterfeit detergents and sanitizers in the market, the Anti-Counterfeit Authority today raided and nabbed 291 pieces of counterfeit face masks worth Kshs 500,000 in Namanga town, Kajiado County.
The agency is in the process of identifying and investigating the deals for further arrests and prosecution.
According to Hussein Abdi, Namanga Border Post Inspector, Anti-Counterfeit Agency: “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. Upon arrests, they will face the full force of the law. What they are doing poses a threat to the health and safety of Kenyans. We urge all Kenyans to be vigilant as they purchase facemasks across the country.”
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 the ministry of health officials.
On his part, Elema Halake, Executive Director, Anti-Counterfeit Agency noted: “We are working closely with our law enforcement agencies to nab even more culprits as will not condone such illegal activity in our quest to make Kenya a counterfeit-free country. We are monitoring various places closely to shield Kenyans from purchasing fake masks and sanitizers as Kenyans work to flatten the curve by preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The Authority reassures members of the public that it remains vigilant to detect and seize any counterfeit facemasks and sanitizers. Also reminding Kenyans that it is a criminal offense to deal in counterfeit goods and this punishable by law.
Counterfeit goods cause a risk to the health and safety of Kenyans thus the need for vigilance at this time when many Kenyans seek to keep safe, social distance and stop the spread of the virus.