The days for smugglers in Lake Victoria are numbered following the deployment of a surveillance vessel as the taxman seeks to shore up revenue collection in the water body.
Marine Vessel KRA 007, which can cruise at speeds of approximately 70km per hour and transport 20 passengers at a time, will be used by the Kenya Revenue Authority to secure borders along the lake in Muhuru Bay.
According to the international maritime organization, over 90 per cent of the world’s trade is carried by sea, calling for the need to secure Kenya’s territorial waters from illicit trade, which include the importation of illegal weapons, counterfeit goods, narcotic drugs and other prohibited and restricted goods.
Illicit trade deprives the government of revenue, feeds into unfair competition in the market while putting at risk the health and safety of the public.
The acting KRA Western Region Coordinator 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.
The deployment of surveillance boats by KRA along the waters has enabled the authority to seal revenue loopholes and boost revenue collection.
In the period between July and December 2020, the taxman through the marine unit facilitated trade worth Kes.500 million in Western region. The unit has also intercepted illegal goods worth Kes.15 million.