Detectives nab syndicate importing ethanol for manufacturing cheap liquor in Ruai

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 9 Sep, 2021 15:00 | 2 mins read
Litres of illicit drinks impounded at Viken 30 Industrial Park godowns: PHOTO/MATHEW NDUNGU

Detectives have unearthed a major syndicate in which unscrupulous traders have been illegally importing ethanol for use in the manufacture of cheap liquor.

In their determination to make quick money, the traders have been sidestepping the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) radar to bring into the country the said ethanol, before subsequently supplying it to unlicensed liquor manufacturers.

On Tuesday evening, detectives from Parklands Directorate of Criminal Investigations raided the unlicensed den in Ruai area and confiscated 629 drums each containing 250 litres of ethanol, all valued at Ksh13.5 million.

Two suspects, Martin Ng’ang’a Mwangi and Julius Njoroge Mburu were arrested at the Viken 30 Industrial Park godowns and are expected to be arraigned in court.

A Nissan motor vehicle that was used in the transportation of the ethanol was also detained as an exhibit.

Parklands DCI boss Chief Inspector Nathan Njoroge said the samples were taken for testing at the KRA and Government Chemist laboratory for confirmation about the authenticity of the ethanol.

Njoroge disclosed that in 2015, KRA through a public notice introduced procedures to govern access, purchase and importation of ethanol pursuant to the government’s initiative to combat illicit production and consumption of spirit-based beverages.

According to Njoroge, the illicit brew is usually prepared under unhygienic conditions.

The unscrupulous traders involved also evade taxation in all their processes, thereby denying the government due revenue.

To boost the fight against counterfeit products, KRA rolled out the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) on alcohol, bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages.

“The system requires the products to be affixed with excise stamps, making it easy for the public to identify illicit products. EGMS has contributed immensely in the fight against illicit trade and level playing ground for traders, as well as protect consumers from substandard products,” Njoroge added.

The Parklands team, created by DCI boss George Kinoti, has been fighting illicit trade and contraband goods in the country.

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