2 arrested as detectives seize consignment of counterfeit alcohol in Nairobi

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 30 Nov, 2022 09:55 | 2 mins read
2 arrested as detectives seize consignment of counterfeit alcohol in Nairobi
The main suspect Nelius Wambui, who is believed to be behind production and sale of counterfeit alcohol. PHOTO/DCI (@DCI_Kenya)/Twitter

Detectives are holding two people linked to the production and sale of counterfeit alcohol in Nairobi.

The two include the main suspect Nelius Wambui and her driver Mathuku Maingi who was intercepted ferrying the alcoholic products to various destinations in the city.

According to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Wambui, 29, is linked to a high-level tax evasion scheme.

The youthful woman and her accomplice were arrested on Tuesday, November 29, in an operation led by sleuths from the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit (CCU) and officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)

Over 170 cartons containing thousands of bottles of counterfeit spirits destined for the local market were also recovered during the operation.

DCI revealed that the counterfeited drinks, whose safety to consumers is in question, were packaged in branded bottles popular with the youth including, Konyagi, Triple Ace, Smart Vodka, Kibao among others.

After the arrests, the suspects are said to have led detectives to their bottle collection yard where used bottles of different brands are allegedly assembled after being dumped and refilled with the counterfeited drinks.

The operation came a day after detectives raided an alcohol manufacturing plant in Njiru, Nairobi, and seized hundreds of counterfeited KRA stamps and machines used in the production of alcoholic drinks.

The raid at Bongo Enterprises LTD on Monday morning also saw police recover over 5,000 stickers of an alcoholic drink identified as Bongo Vodka.

The ongoing crackdown follows a recent directive by President William Ruto to the police, to conduct intelligence-led operations targeting counterfeit goods, after it was discovered that crooked businessmen had devised ways of evading tax.

Last month, the Head of State directed KRA to collect Ksh3 trillion in the next financial year.

Speaking during the annual Taxpayers' month at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Friday, October 28, 2022, the Head of State also affirmed that his administration was prepared to implement changes at the agency to maximize efficient and effective tax collection.

“We should be able to collect enough money. Our Growth Domestic Product (GDP) has risen Ksh12 trillion yet KRA only raised about 14 percent of GDP in revenues last year. In the past, KRA was able to raise 18 percent of GDP. If we collect the same target today, we would have raised an extra 4 hundred billion shillings. In that case, I expect KRA to collect 3 trillion in the next financial year,” the head of state said.

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