State taps private sector in renewed illicit trade war
The Trade and Industry ministry launched Inter Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum through a gazette notice last Friday. Its main mandate is to coordinate departments and agencies involved in combating the entrenched illicit trade. The forum will be chaired by Trade PS Chris Kiptoo, assisted by KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga.
The State has roped the private sector into the war on multibillion-shilling illicit trade in a bid to seal revenue loopholes and unlock job opportunities for unemployed youth. Chief executives of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya Private Sector Alliance and, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry have joined enforcement agencies on a taskforce charged with leading the fight.The Trade and Industry ministry launched the Inter Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Executive Forum through a gazette notice last Friday. Its main mandate is to coordinate departments and agencies involved in combating the entrenched illicit trade.The forum will be chaired by Trade PS Chris Kiptoo, assisted by KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga.
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It will be required to prepare a detailed report on the progress and challenges in the war on illicit trade every year to be submitted to the minister.Anti-Counterfeit Agency executive director Elema Halake was appointed secretary of the team that brings together 23 government and private sector entities, including representatives from State departments of Industry and Agriculture as well as CEO of the Council of Governors.Saitoti Maika, Financial Reporting Centre director-general, and his National Intelligence Service counterpart Philip Kameru are also members of the team.Others include heads of inspectorate and certification agencies such as Kenya Bureau of standards and Kenya Revenue Authority, the Immigration, the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Inspector-General of Police.The taskforce will review the work of Inter-Agency Anti-Illicit Trade Technical Working Group — co-chaired by Mr Halake and Ms Wakiaga or her representative — after every three months.The technical team will among other roles, develop a national strategy on combating illicit trade, create institutional policies, co-ordinate surveillance and investigations as well as steer public awareness campaigns.