Counterfeit electronics worth millions nabbed from palatial home in Kiambu

A section of the go-down in a palatial home in Juja where the counterfeited items were nabbed. Photo: Kamau Njoroge

Police and anti-counterfeit officials have raided a private homestead in Juja, Kiambu County and seized hundreds of suspected counterfeit electronic items valued at millions of shillings.

The goods were found hidden in the basement of the palatial home in Mutundu Estate along the Juja-Gatundu Road, but the owner of the premises who was said to have been holed inside one of the rooms escaped the police dragnet.

Anti-counterfeit agency officials have been investigating unauthorized replication and sale of electronics products, which encompass sound mixers, power mixers, amplifiers and speakers whose sale they say has been widespread in the country.

Investigation into the matter was conducted to protect unsuspecting customers and the manufacturer with the alarming trend said to be posing a significant threat to consumers who may unwittingly acquire untested, substandard products, not to mention the economic interests of manufacturers.

There has been widespread distribution of counterfeit products with manufacturers in various letters now calling on the anti-counterfeit agency to swiftly help uphold the integrity of the market and protecting unsuspecting customers by enforcing intellectual property rights and ensuring the welfare of consumers is invaluable.

The counterfeiting scandal involves imitation of Yamaha brands and non-Yamaha products, those of Peavey company, Crest Audio products, Beringer products, JBL Products, Nexo products and Wharfale products.

The counterfeits are accused of affixing the trademark on original products that fall outside the range of products officially produced by various companies.

“This misrepresentation is damaging both to consumers who may unknowingly purchase substandard goods and to Yamaha’s brand image. Affected products are Yamaha branded Michrophones, drumsticks, powered mixers, Yamaha Analogue Mixers, Yamaha branded guitars, branded drums, branded amplifiers, branded loud speakers,” Yamaha said in a statement.

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The companies are now calling on the government through the anti-counterfeit agency to take appropriate administrative and statutory actions to address the matter promptly.

“There have been an increased copy JBL products being imported into Kenya and would ask your assistance and support given to them in order to eradicate the above stated menace currently prevailing in the market. Help us maintain the quality and good name of our cherished brand, having been painstakingly built for many years,” JBL added in a statement.

The authority noted that the products are being counterfeited in China and here in the country using a harmful lead metal which is dangerous to human health.

By using lead to make such products, the illicit traders are said to be selling the fake products at quarter price of the original.

The fake products have dented the image and business of the original brands and eroding customer trust of the faked brands.

By Kamau Njoroge

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281