Over 30,000 counterfeit Kenya Revenue Authority excise stamps and hundreds of litres of ethanol, were yesterday seized from an unlicensed second-generation distillery in Elburgon, Molo sub-county.
Detectives had gotten wind that an unscrupulous businessman and former saw-miller based in Elburgon, had converted his sawmill to a liquor manufacturing plant, following the countrywide ban on logging imposed by the government.
In a well-coordinated operation conducted by the Molo security team, the sleuths sneaked into the sawmill in unmarked vehicles posing as potato farmers and busted 3 workers who were busy packaging the liquor ready for the market.
Hundreds of counterfeited bottles affixed with fake KRA stamps were recovered during the raid and the owner James Ndegwa who is a former saw-Miller arrested. Also arrested were three of his employees Fredrick Kiprotich, Joram Choge and Langat Kipng’etich, who also acted as the plant’s connoisseurs and tested whether the potency of each brand had achieved its desired level.
Among the seized bottles and fake liquor, labels included those of popular brands such as Tripple Ace, Kibao, and Konyagi locally known as ‘Munyangate’ among many others. Also seized was an alcohol meter, a measuring tube, assorted synthetic flavours among other paraphernalia used in liquor production.
The raid comes in the wake of a sustained multi-agency collaboration between DCI and KRA, that has saved the country billions of shillings in lost revenue, through counterfeit and contraband goods.