Last week, Sam Mattock and George Earle travelled to Port Louis, Mauritius to train law enforcement officials in the identification of counterfeit goods and the key methodologies counterfeiters are employing. Participants included Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) customs officials, members of the Mauritius Police Force and attorneys from Eversheds (Mauritius) Ltd.
This year, more than 300 Law Enforcement Officers have been trained by Halliday Finch at various strategic ports in Africa. In 2019, Halliday Finch aims to hold at least 16 such training sessions to equip a further 1000 officials with the skills necessary to identify even the most expertly counterfeited products on behalf of brands such as HP, Canon, Moet Hennessy, Takeda and Pfizer.
The team were joined by Mr Elema Halake, Director of Kenya’s Anti Counterfeit Agency and Mr Julius Ndegwa, EBS MBS Chairman of Halliday Finch Africa
Below is the closing address by Halliday Finch’s esteemed chairman, Mr. Julius Ndegwa, EBS MBS Chairman Halliday Finch Africa
“Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure and I feel greatly honoured to have been able to share this training day with you. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Mr Ootam Pasaad, of the World Customs Organization, for inviting us to this beautiful country. We have had a wonderful time in Mauritius, my only criticism is that my stay has been too short!
I wish to thank on behalf of my team, the Government of Mauritius, particularly the frontline Customs Officers, Officers from the Industrial Property Office, Police Officers from the Anti-Piracy Unit and Officers from the Government Pharmacist for giving up their time to be here to learn. I also wish to thank the Halliday Finch training team, Mr. Sam Mattock and George Earle, I also enjoyed the training.
During the training, you heard that counterfeiters brazenly continue to import or bring in goods through our ports and other designated and undesignated points of entry. In Kenya, this menace had escalated to an alarming level but our Executive Director of the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA), Mr. Elenna Halake, here present, has dedicated every hour of his day to combat the counterfeiters.
In an unprecedented public private partnership, global law enforcement has used the passion and knowledge of the brand holders as a key weapon in the fight to enforce the law.
It is essential to know the “modus operandi” of the criminals – it is the same in Kenya as it in Mauritius and indeed every country across the world.
- Ports of origin – China.
- Imported through sea ports and moved to a land warehouse
- Shipments broken down using, often unsuspecting locals, into small consignments and moved for sale at street level.
The ACA countering strategy in Kenya is simple and effective:
- Goods arriving at the port are being scanned by customs officials.
- If, after scanning, it is found necessary for in-depth investigation, the container is opened for verification.
- Our men from Halliday Finch are called in to Authenticate the goods as being counterfeit and upon authentication the goods are seized. Halliday Finch then becomes the complainant on behalf of the brand.
Mr. Halake, Executive Director (ACA Kenya) plays a critical role in co-ordination and has done a fantastic job and once again I wish to congratulate him and implore him to keep up the good work.
It is my firm belief that interstate, interagency and public partnership co-operation in the fight on counterfeiters and infringement of property rights is THE game changer, raising benefits to Brands and thus Governments through revenue collection whilst simultaneously protecting our citizens. It’s win win.
I pray you enjoyed the training and passed the exam!
You people in this room are on the front line in the war against the counterfeiters, I praise you for your efforts in the past, I laud you for your efforts in the future. This fight can’t be fought without you, God speed and great success.
With these many words I declare the training for the day officially closed.”