The world of automotive is not immune to duplicity and illegal practices. This was brought to light recently when the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), an authoritative national body responsible for standardization, quality assurance, and market access of goods in Kenya, announced a significant event. On Thursday, June 29, KEBS divulged their interception and subsequent handing over of a cloned high-end vehicle, specifically a Range Rover, to the government for destruction. This cloned vehicle, with an estimated value of Ksh25 million, was suspected to have been falsely presented as a newer model than its actual production year.
In an effort to maintain rigorous quality and integrity standards, KEBS conducts routine inspections across different regions. One such routine inspection in the coastal city of Mombasa led to this eye-opening discovery. The vehicle in question bore an uncanny resemblance to the four-by-four model of a Range Rover, which was originally manufactured in 2021. The SUV was spotted and detained at the Regional Logistics Centre, identified by its Chassis Number SALGA2AEXLA400687.
Following this unfortunate interception, KEBS mentioned possible courses of action. The government holds the authority to either dismantle the vehicle or return it to its country of origin, owing to its failure to adhere to the bureau’s standard operating procedures. It’s worth noting that a new version of the captured Range Rover commands a price tag exceeding Ksh25 million, whereas used variants can be acquired for a sum ranging between Ksh7 million and Ksh15 million.
Reflecting on this incident, KEBS Acting Managing Director Esther Ngari stated, “This expensive vehicle, imported into the country under fraudulent circumstances, was successfully intercepted through the concerted efforts of our inspection agencies and various stakeholders.” She further emphasized the bureau’s commitment to curbing such fraudulent activities by saying, “We have comprehensive processes in place to ensure fraudulent activities of this sort do not happen.”
Nonetheless, despite stringent efforts, an alarming rise in the importation of counterfeit cars has been noticed, leading to significant financial loss for many Kenyans. A high-ranking KEBS official detailed how fraudsters often obtain vehicle specifications by attending auctions in countries like the UK and the US.
In light of these increasing instances of cloned vehicle importation, KEBS has issued a strong caution to the public. The agency sternly advised Kenyans against purchasing vehicles from unregistered dealers. Additionally, it encouraged individuals to strictly adhere to the stipulated inspection procedures to avoid being deceived by cloned vehicles that fail to meet the high standards set by the Kenyan government. This episode underscores the importance of remaining vigilant against such fraudulent activities to ensure only legitimate, high-quality vehicles are brought into the country.