Fake news from Kenya

    About 700 million counterfeit cigarettes were traded in Kenya last year, according to a story in The Star citing market research by British American Tobacco.

    The company was quoted as saying that the illegal trade in Kenya accounted for 14.1 percent of the cigarette market.

    Financial director Sidney Wafula said the trade ‘denies Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Sh2.5 billion annually in tax revenue while the industry loses Sh900 million’.

    Meanwhile, MD Beverly Spencer that BAT’s independent third-party research showed that counterfeit cigarettes were either smuggled into the country, having been destined for a lower tax market that was never reached, or they were produced locally with forged tax stamps.

    Spencer said KRA and other relevant bodies needed to find the point of sale of the fake products because it was difficult for consumers to tell the difference between genuine and fake products.