Police in Kapsabet, Nandi County, on Thursday, May 25 siezed illicit liquor packaged as genuine brands of established firms valued at Ksh600, 000 in one of the bars in Kamobo area.
Kapsabet town Chief Selina Too said the alcoholic drinks were nabbed at one of the stores belonging to one of the business owners in Kamobo area where they were being packed to be sold at nearby bars.
Too also said security officers are in hot pursuit of the bar owner behind the illegal distillery and several of her employees who fled when the police arrived.
“We recovered Kenya Revenue Authority stickers, an alcoholmeter and hundreds of branded cartons for various companies including Platinum Distillers, Patiala Distillers (K) Ltd, Kenya Wine Agencies (KWAL) Ltd, Kingdom Spirits, and UDV Distilleries,” she said.
The counterfeit drinks, whose safety to consumers could not be immediately ascertained according to the chief, were packaged in branded bottles that are popular with the youth.
KRA officers also confirmed that the seized drinks had counterfeited revenue stamps affixed on them when they took the packaged drinks to Kisumu County to establish their suitability for human health.
The recovery comes days after the detectives began investigations in Kaptumo Center in Aldai sub-county where illegal wine and spirits were reported to be on the rise.
The suspects are also said to be engaging in the printing of fake KRA stamps including those from Uganda and Tanzania.
The ongoing operation follows a recent directive by the government instructing police to conduct operations targeting counterfeit goods after uncovering evidence of tax evasion by "crooked businessmen".
“These illegal distillers are giving us unhealthy competition by not paying taxes and should be dealt with ruthlessly. They are also exposing unsuspecting consumers to poisonous substances,” Kamobo Chief Benjamin Lelei noted
Nandi County Deputy Governor Yulita Cheruiyot has called on residents to work hand in hand with the security agents to deal with the menace.
"Many youths today in our society are suffering as a result of drug abuse. Can you imagine subjecting residents to drugs that might ruin their health, do we expect the next generation to be sober? Definitely not. Police kindly, let us end this behaviour in our county," Yulita said.