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Team formed to crackdown illicit, counterfeit liquor in Murang’a

A team of officers drawn from various government agencies was launched in Murang’a to help in the fight against illicit and counterfeit brews within the county.

The team led by the County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo will embark on surveillance to arrest those operating unlicensed bars and those selling illicit and counterfeit brews.

Meeting members of the team in his office, Ngumo explained that the biggest challenge was the selling of second generation alcoholic drinks in licensed bars.

The counterfeit alcoholic brands, he noted, are not only a risk to the health of consumers, but are also denying the country revenue.

“This team will comprise of officers from the security committee, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Nacada and members of the community among other groups.

“Within a period of 100 days, we will embark on investigations to nab those manufacturing illicit brews, those selling counterfeits and also intensify crackdown on people behind bhang trafficking,” explained Ngumo.

He observed that from the investigations already, brewing of illicit alcoholic drinks has gone down, but selling of second generation and counterfeit liquor is high.

The administrator called for combined efforts and support from the department of public health, the county liquor licensing board among other relevant agencies to curb the menace.

During the meeting, it was established some liquor outlets are operating with outdated licenses.

Some of the unauthorized liquor brands being sold include bongo and millionaire.

Ngumo said apart from the county team, every sub county will have its own team to help in fighting the menace.

The fight against the brews comes after increased outcry from the locals and leaders over excessive alcoholism, especially among young people.

Reports from KRA indicated an increase in the selling of counterfeits and unauthorized liquor brands in Murang’a.

“What we will be checking is whether the outlet is licensed, liquor brands stocked in shelves, cleanliness of the bars among other requirements,” added Ngumo.

He directed the security officers to crackdown bars which are operating outside stipulated time.

“The wines and spirit shops are not supposed to allow customers to take alcohol in their outlets. It’s illegal and during the crackdown we will apprehend those contravening the liquor laws,” added the county commissioner.

During celebrations to mark Jamhuri day celebrations, Governor Irungu Kang’ata vowed to ensure licenses of alcoholic outlets contravening liquor laws are not renewed.

Residents have been decrying the increased number of bars in the County saying the presence of many outlets have contributed to increased alcoholism among the youth.

By Bernard Munyao and Anita Omwenga


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