KRA enhance surveillance, combat illicit trade along Muhuru Bay


By Correspondent


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

restricted goods.


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.

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