Drones and skin lightening products are among the most commonly intercepted items at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as revealed by the government.
Officials at the airport revealed that most of the products were withheld because they had been banned in the country.
Other common products intercepted include sex toys, shisha, pharmaceutical products, guns and bulletproof vests.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Customs Enforcement Manager, Gakii Ruthiaren, stated that some of the products such as drones were withheld because most of the owners did not have licences to operate the equipment.
She explained that strict guidelines for the clearance of goods at the airport were majorly informed by security concerns.
“The law stipulates all prohibited and restricted goods, our part is to enforce it at the entry point to ensure the safety of Kenyans,” she stated.
According to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), drone owners are expected to obtain a licence from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) before using them. Registration of drones currently costs Ksh3,000.
In the event that the owners fail to collect the commodities, government agencies often auction products that are safe to the public.
In August 2021, KRA announced that they would auction personal items such as handbags, and footwear after their rightful owners failed to claim them.
The taxman explained that the owners did not pay taxes for them, forcing the state to put them on sale.
On the other hand, contraband items are usually destroyed by the government. In 2017, KRA destroyed a cache of sex toys estimated at Ksh300,000 as they explained that the products were targetting female students in the region.
To avoid such incidents, Kenyans seeking to import various products were advised to familiarise themselves with the existing to avoid run-ins with the law.
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