The reality of fake commodities in the market has hit Kenyan consumers after a series of seizures on products that government says are not only hurting the economy but are also posing serious health risks.
In the back-to-back confiscation of these goods by government detectives, Kenyans.co.ke has compiled a list of items that you should know have their fakes at your nearby shops and markets.
Government laboratory tests on the recently seized counterfeit sugar found it to contain traces of mercury and copper traces. Despite being marked as unsafe for household use, the unscrupulous traders were repackaging it for sale.
Another consignment of sugar meant for industrial use was being repackaged by a retailer in Ol Kalou for sale during the weekend. It is clear the sugar is not far from the one we consume often.
2. Cooking Oil
Part of the of the seizures at a distributor’s joint in Eastleigh were at least 500 containers of cooking oil. The cooking oil was flagged as substandard but the dealers reportedly obtained KEBS labels that they used to help sell.
3. Underwears, clothes, shoes and costumes
These are mostly poor quality or used attire that is smuggled in by concealing their consignment identities. On Monday, used panties worth Sh21 Million were seized at an inland port in Embakasi, Nairobi.
Making the announcement, Deputy Head of Public Service noted that importation of second-hand undergarments into the country was restricted.
4. Assorted Electronics
A number of the electronics in the Kenyan market, it is no secret, are counterfeits. These range from mobile phones, television sets, computer, watches and other quick moving items. Some of the electronics valued at Sh275.3 Million were also seized during a Monday crackdown.
5. Motor Spare parts
More than 30 cartons of Toyota fake spare parts worth half a million were found on Monday. Given it is not a first attempt entry into the market, more are feared to be already in use or in different autospare shops.
6. Drugs, medicine and contraceptives such as condoms and the on-high-demand Postinor 2
The Anti Counterfeits Agency in May seized 31,000 pairs of Postinor-2 contraceptives valued at Ksh7 million. Most young adolescents are targeted by these products as they seek to evade pregnancy while daring killer STIs as HIV/AIDS.
It is feared that some of the counterfeit cigarettes are smuggled in from South Africa.
The number of cigarettes smoked in Kenya was 6.4 Billion in 2013, but according to the World Health Organization (WHO) the number hit 8 Billion in 2015.
8. Alcoholic Beverages and other drinks as suspicious particles have been spotted a few times in bottled water selling in Nairobi and other towns.
9. Soaps and Detergents either locally made illegally imported.
10. Imported cosmetics and hair products mostly used by women and beauty shops in the country.
11. Cooking gas mostly sold from unlicensed cylinder refilling stations which has in the past been nabbed in parts of Eastlands and Kiambu.
12. Roofing sheets and nails
13. Electric cables mostly an imitation of East African cables products. The company in its last financial report attributed loss of more than Sh3 Billion to counterfeits.
14. Electric Bulbs and fluorescent tubes
While the government invests more in supplying electricity to all parts of the country, crooked businessmen are also flooding the market with complementary counterfeits as bulbs and lamps to tap from unsuspecting Kenyans.
These are just part of the items consumers need to be on the lookout for to beat the adversity that comes with using the wrong or substandard commodity.