• Inspectors from Anti-Counterfeit Agency descended on seven mobile phone outlets in downtown Nairobi along Mfangano Street and seized 213 counterfeit mobile phones
• Some 213 mobile handsets and over 1,000 duplicate mobile telephone accessories seized
Counterfeit Samsung phones and other accessories estimated to be worth more than Sh10 million were on Thursday seized in a sting operation.
Acting on a tip off, Anti-Counterfeit Agency inspectors descended on seven mobile phone shops in downtown Nairobi along Mfangano Street and seized 213 fake phones.
"We had received particular information that there are stores selling counterfeit phones and others pasting fake stickers of Samsung brand on the body of the mobile phone," said Tom Muteti, the Chief Public Communication Officer from the Anti-Counterfeit Agency.
He said 213 mobile handsets and over 1,000 duplicate mobile telephone accessories including chargers were confiscated. Seven shopkeepers were arrested.
Mfangano Street is regarded as a notorious hot spot for counterfeit phones and electronics in the city.
The estimated value of the seizure is based on the present market price of the original versions.
The operation was conducted in collaboration with the Anti-Illicit Trade Agency Limited, the appointed Samsung brand protection agency.
The Director of Anti-Illicit Trade Company Peter Mutula said the traders conceal the Samsung brand to avoid higher tax brackets while at the same time infringing on the Samsung trademark at the selling level.
“This deceit leads to unfair trade to the genuine retailers as well as giving consumers poor quality products that have no warranties and do not last long,” he said.
The Anti-Counterfeit Authority said customers should buy phones from authentic points of sale.
They should cultivate the culture of inquiring clear product information on quality and huge price variations from the traders and further demand product warranties against their purchases.
The traders will be charged with possession of counterfeit goods for purposes of sale.
If convicted of counterfeiting the suspects shall serve an imprisonment term not exceeding five years or a fine of a minimum of three times the retail value of goods or both.
For second offenders or subsequent conviction, they may serve an imprisonment term not exceeding 15 years or a fine not less than five times the retail value of the goods or both.