Fifteen members of staff attached to International Distiller of Uganda limited (IDU), have been fired after they were found to be the masterminds behind fake products bearing the brand name of their employers.
A source claims that IDU, the manufacturers of spirits; Uganda Waragi, V&A and Bond 7 noticed fake products in the market bearing their brand names.
According to the source, IDU were able to notice the fake brands after the counterfeit products flooded the market without Digital Stamps, a new tax system implemented nine months ago by the Uganda Revenue Authority.
The source adds that certain IDU employees had a parallel production site somewhere in Seeta, after Namanve industrial area.
“This parallel production at Seeta has been going on for years. Profits and market share of IDU had been negatively affected.”
“The culprits were high profile employees with big ranks within the UBL/ IDU organogram and could be among the people who were resisting the roll out of DTSS. It is now clear they had hidden motives while resisting DTSS implementation in Uganda,” the source said.
It is reported that the culprits could get same materials such as labels, recipes, bottles, bottle caps, packing material e.g. boxes, etc. and could use the same to produce identical products and sell in the same market that IDU/ Uganda Breweries operates in.
Since IDU had started applying stamps on all their products but unstamped products continued to flood the market, an investigation at IDU was initiated to establish the origin of these products.
It is DTSS that has informed IDU and several others that counterfeit products are being made by their own employees and out back into the market, bearing the company brand.
During his speech at the launch of the Digital Tax Stamp Solution (DTSS), President Museveni said the aim is to curb illicit goods and tax evasions by manufacturers.
For Large and Medium tax payers, DTS equipment is installed on production lines. Digital stamps (serial numbers) are printed/ applied on every bottle that comes out of the production line.
These stamps are then scanned by the cameras positioned at the production line and information is immediately transmitted to URA through the server at the manufacturers’ sites.
For small tax payers/importers, physical stamps are applied manually, and information is updated through the DTS web app.
Earlier this year, URA started the media campaign titled ‘KAKASA’ with the aim of rejecting unstamped Uganda Waragi, V&A, Bond7 etc. products.