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Kiambu authorities net counterfeit liquor worth sh800, 000

Police in Juja, Kiambu County have netted illicit liquor packaged as genuine brands of established firms valued at Sh800, 000 from an illegal distiller in the area.

Juja Deputy County Commissioner Charles Muriithi said the alcoholic drinks were seized at a private residence at Kenyatta Road Estate, where they were being packed to be sold at nearby markets of Ruiru, Eastern bypass, Thika and Weitethie among others.

He said security officers are in hot pursuit of a woman behind the illegal distillery and several of her employees who fled when the police arrived.

“We also 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, King Horse Spirits and UDV Distilleries,” he said.

This comes as five other illegal distillers that were involved in the same racket were also rounded up in the sub county in the last two months raising concern that most of the liquor being consumed in the nearby areas was fake.

Genuine distillers of wines and spirits have complained that they were losing market to the counterfeiters as they sell their fake liquor cheaply and do not pay taxes.

Led by Onesmus Muturi, the Marketing Director of Platinum Distillers, whose People Vodka was among the counterfeited products, they said the fake brews exposed the consumers to grave danger.

Muturi at the same time called on the courts to be ruthless when processing such offenders since such businesses amounted to economic sabotage by not paying taxes.

“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 the possibility of taking poisonous substances,” he said.

By Muoki Charles

 

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