Detectives from the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit, in collaboration with officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), have seized a consignment of counterfeit alcoholic drinks and fake KRA stamps.
In a statement by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the operation was part of an ongoing effort to combat high-level tax evasion schemes within the alcoholic products trade.
The DCI stated that the undercover operation resulted in the recovery of over 2,500 bottles of counterfeit spirits.
The beverages, packaged in branded bottles familiar to local consumers, bore labels such as Smart Vodka, Supa Vodka, Blue Ice, and People Vodka, among others.
"Over 2,500 bottles of counterfeit spirits destined for the local market were recovered, following a meticulous operation conducted by detectives from the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit and officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority," the statement read in part.
Detectives said they are currently unable to confirm the safety of these counterfeited drinks, raising concerns about potential risks to consumers.
The operation, centred around a house within the Kenyatta Road area in Chai estate, also led to the confiscation of a substantial quantity of counterfeit KRA stamps.
"The recovery was made at a house within the Kenyatta Road area, Chai estate."
Detectives also discovered 24,000 pieces of these fake stamps, often used to deceive authorities and consumers alike at the scene.
Alongside the forged stamps, detectives uncovered 40 litres of ethanol, the source of which is now under investigation.
"The sleuths also recovered 24,000 pieces of counterfeit KRA stamps and 40 litres of Ethanol," DCI stated.
A seizure notice has been issued, and the impounded goods are now subject to a thorough investigation to trace the origin of the illicit ethanol and the network responsible for the production and distribution of the counterfeit alcoholic beverages.
Counterfeit alcohol trade
This comes barely months after DCI carried out another operation that led to the recovery of a consignment of counterfeit alcoholic drinks and fake KRA stamps in Kahawa Sukari.
The operation, which took place on October 13, 2023, uncovered a startling cache of illicit goods. A total of 1,078 bottles of counterfeit alcoholic drinks, one roll of counterfeit KRA stamps, 630 litres of ethanol, 10,300 empty bottles, and four sacks of assorted bottle caps were recovered in the raid.
"In a raid conducted by detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit and officials from KRA, 1078 bottles of counterfeit alcoholic drinks, one roll of counterfeit KRA Stamps, 630 litres of ethanol, 10,300 empty bottles and four sacks of assorted bottle caps were recovered," the DCI statement read in part.