KRA enhance surveillance, combat illicit trade along Muhuru Bay
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in partnership with Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA), and United Nations Office for Project Services
(UNOPS) have today launched a new surveillance boat to reinforce
security along Lake Victoria.
The vessel christened MV KRA 007 will be part of KRA fleet, and will be
deployed to patrol and engage in surveillance of Kenyan territorial
waters along Muhuru Bay. The boat will enable KRA eliminate illicit
trade and secure the borders along the lake.
MV KRA 007 will be used to protect the Kenyan economic zone from
illegal activities, including smuggling. The new boat, model W31, can
transport up to 20 passengers safely and in comfort at a speed of 30
knots, which is equivalent to approximately 70km/hour.
Speaking during the event, Ag. Western Region Coordinator Mr Jonah
Ogaro said that the purchase of the new boat is a momentous step in the
fight against illicit trade and securing the border points.
According to the international maritime organization, over 90% of the
world’s trade is carried by sea, calling for the need to secure Kenya’s
territorial waters from illicit trade, which include importation of illegal
weapons, counterfeit goods, narcotic drugs and other prohibited and
Illicit trade has deprived the government the much-needed revenue,
brought unfair competition in the market and jeopardized consumer’s
health and safety. KRA has therefore enhanced the fight against
importation of contraband goods using surveillance, intelligence sharing
and collaboration with other relevant agencies.
The new boat will therefore boost capacity in mitigating cross-border
crime and increasing the country’s intelligence gathering, and
information sharing ability among border control agencies.
The deployment of surveillance boats by KRA along the waters has
enabled the Authority to seal revenue loopholes and boost revenue
collection. For example, since the deployment of the vessels along
Usenge and Mbita Stations, the revenue collection performance have
increased by 200% and the compliance level grown by 300%.
In the period between July and December 2020, KRA through the Marine
Unit facilitated trade worth Kshs 500 million in Western Region. The
unit has also intercepted illegal goods worth Kshs 15 million. The goods
that were intercepted while being smuggled into the country were later
destroyed according to the law.