Kenya enhances maritime surveillance, combat illicit trade
The vessel christened MV KRA 007 which was launched in partnership with the UN Office for Project Services and Japan International Cooperation Agency will be deployed to patrol and engage in surveillance of Kenyan territorial waters along Muhuru Bay.
Jonah Ogaro, KRA acting Western Region Coordinator, said that the purchase of the new boat is a momentous step in the fight against illicit trade and securing the border points.
"The boat will enable KRA to eliminate illicit trade and secure the borders along the lake," Ogaro said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said the vessel will be used to protect the Kenyan economic zone from illegal activities, including smuggling. The KRA official said the new boat can transport up to 20 passengers safely and in comfort at a speed of 30 knots, which is equivalent to about 70 km per hour.
KRA said illicit trade has deprived the government the much-needed revenue, brought unfair competition in the market and jeopardized consumer's health and safety. KRA said it has thus enhanced the fight against the importation of contraband goods using surveillance, intelligence sharing and collaboration with other relevant agencies.
It said 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.
Ogaro said the deployment of surveillance boats by KRA along the waters has enabled KRA to seal revenue loopholes and boost revenue collection. ■