KENYA – Police in Murang’a County have seized assorted brands of fake alcohol that were stashed in a local pub in Murang’a town.
Thomas Nyoro, the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) for Murang’a East, reported that the police seized counterfeit alcohol worth ksh200,000 (U.S$ 1606) from a bar in the Grogon neighborhood because the alcohol brands lacked standardization marks for products intended for sale in Kenya.
“We confiscated 17 crates of assorted brands of liquor after they were found without Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) sticker and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) quality mark,” he said, adding that the said liquor will undergo inspection by the relevant authorities to ascertain their quality standard.
According to Mr. Nyoro, the neighborhood police organized a crackdown in response to a public uproar over the increase in the production and distribution of illicit alcohol in the region.
“There has been an outcry in Murang’a and Mt Kenya region over the rampant consumption of cheap counterfeit liquor in the market centres leading to increased alcoholism among our male youth,” he said.
According to Nyoro, Mary Wakuu, the Murang’a East sub-county police commander, oversaw the crackdown operation that led to the raid on the store selling fake alcohol.
The illicit consignment was found concealed in a store that was only accessible to the bartender, says Kenya News Agency.
In an effort to intervene and stop the sale and distribution of illegal alcohol, the DCC claimed that the government has warned bar owners against selling counterfeit products that have not been approved by the appropriate agencies.
“Our standards bodies have educated liquor distribution owners on quality marks such as the KEBS codes and KRA stickers on bottles which they can check to ascertain their drinks are certified,” he said.
The DCC urged Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs to continue being attentive in the enforcement of compliance laws in order to get rid of illegal beer sales and counterfeit liquor distribution in the county.
“The National Government Administrative Officers (NGAO) should be on the lookout and report those people manufacturing or distributing illicit liquor in the villages,” he said.
He also counseled locals to drink only liquor brands whose quality standards they are confident in to prevent health problems associated with alcohol use.
The County Police Commander Ali Nuno said raids in the past month have seen the closure of five bars in Murang’a South and two in Murang’a East over selling assorted counterfeit liquor brands.
The commander further decried the increased number of bars in the county, saying currently Murang’a has 2,291 bars.
This has made it challenging to monitor the high number of bars in Murang’a, hence the Commander tasked the County Liquor Licensing Board to shut some of them.
The Police Commander urged the leadership of Murang’a county to come out and aid in the fight against illicit and counterfeit brews, saying police cannot adequately tackle the problem alone, reports The Star.
“This fight we cannot successfully do it alone as the police. It requires all of us to come, encourage the residents to volunteer information, and save them from toxic alcoholic drinks,” he said.