• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Machakos: Police seize counterfeit liquor worth Ksh3.8M, 16 suspects arrested


Jan 7, 2023
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Police in Machakos have seized counterfeit second-generation liquor worth Ksh3.8 million following an operation conducted by officers from the National Police Service (NPS), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the national government administration.

In the sting operation conducted on Friday, January 6, 2023, the officers are said to have raided a private godown located at Kathekakai area along the Nairobi-Machakos road and arrested 16 people after getting a tip-off from members of the public.

While addressing the media, the county police commander, Issa Mohammud, accompanied by the sub-county police commander Moss Ndhiwa and criminal investigations officer Fredrick Ikaal stated that they had put surveillance in the area for the last three days.

“We have put surveillance in this area for the last three days, especially this godown because operations were ongoing here late in the night and early morning hours,” Mohammud stated.

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“Yesterday at 8:00 pm we broke a window and scaled the perimeter wall using a ladder to gain access only to find that this is a complete factory for distilling second-generation liquor,” he added.

Bakery to distillation factory

Mohammud also said that the 16 suspects arrested constituted of drivers who had gone to pick up consignment and workers. He added that the godown formerly used to be a bakery before it was transformed into a distillation factory

“It has turned out to be an unlawful distillation factory that is keen to make quick money without minding those who lose sight or die,” Mohammud stated.

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The police boss noted that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) were helping with investigations and confirmed that police had seized counterfeit liquor that had fake exercise duty stamps and Kebs stamps with similar serial numbers.

He explained the impact of the illicit trade saying that the taxman was counting losses amounting to Ksh2 million in revenues and taxes as a result of the illegal business.

“Today we were joined by the team from KRA both Machakos and Nairobi based who are helping us in the investigations. I wish to confirm that the seized liquor has fake exercise duty stamps,” he stated.

“The government is losing revenue. The content of this thing hasn’t been satisfied hence unsafe for human consumption,”

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Following the incident, Mohammud issued directives that the area is guarded by police 24/7 and assured that the operations are still ongoing.

“This place will be guarded by police 24/7. The owner of the warehouse says the directors leased the premises in October 2022, he had been paid rent for the months of October and November, but he is yet to receive rent for the month of December,” Mohammud added.

He further cautioned individuals collecting used bottles for use in the illicit trade.

“They collect used bottles, wash, label and repackage this counterfeit liquor just here. This is a health risk, we won’t allow that,” Mohammud stated.

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