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December 14, 2018

Eldoret Airport banks on new clearing system to nab drugs, counterfeits

 Eldoret Airport Manager Walter Agong with Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdi Hassan at the airport on December 7. /MATHEWS NDANYI
Eldoret Airport Manager Walter Agong with Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdi Hassan at the airport on December 7. /MATHEWS NDANYI

The government has sealed loopholes for illegal trade in drugs and counterfeits at Eldoret International Airport.

A consignment of Mandrax drugs was seized at the airport early this year.

Airport manager Walter Agong on Thursday said they have enforced a new clearing system to ensure the airport is not a conduit for illegal trade.

"All relevant government agencies are working as a team and we will not entertain counterfeits or drugs to go through this airport," said Agong.

Performance of the airport has also improved and it currently receives four cargo flights per week which bring in one million tonnes of cargo from the Middle East.

"Our records indicate that we have achieved about 15 per cent improvement in cargo handling compared to the previous years," said Agong.

Read: 30 state officials face probe over Sh35m Mandrax seized at Eldoret airport 

Agong spoke during an anti-counterfeit border training forum under the North Rift consumer outreach program organised by the Anti-Counterfeit Agency at the airport.

The airport is the second largest in the country after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in terms of cargo carriage.

"We are now targeting even better performance in the next one year and aiming to be an efficient facility offering world class services," said Agong.

Six months ago police arrested three officers attached to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for trying to sneak Mandrax drugs through the airport.

Anti-Counterfeit Agency Executive Director Elema Halake said they had stepped up measures to ensure Kenyans do not suffer from effects of counterfeits.

"If we allow counterfeits into the country then we also put at risk our food security," he said.

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