- The multi-agency operation also led to the recovery of fake Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) stamp distilling machines crates and assorted bottles.
- County commissioner Joshua Nkatha said the suspects collect branded bottles that are then filled up with the counterfeited alcohol and fitted with the fake KRDA stamps
Two people, among them an ex-cop have been arrested for allegedly producing illicit brews in Murang’a county.
The two were arrested during a raid conducted in a manufacturing plant installed in a residential home in Gatanga.
This followed a tip-off from members of the public that saw a contingent of police officers storm the premises and recover about 150 litres of ethanol.
The multi-agency operation also led to the recovery of fake Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) stamp distilling machines crates and assorted bottles.
County Commissioner Joshua Nkatha revealed that the suspects had counterfeited over 50 brands of alcohol that were then sold to various outlets all over the Central Region.
The suspects, he added, collect branded bottles that are then filled up with the counterfeited alcohol and fitted with the fake KRDA stamps.
He said the business has been putting the lives of unassuming consumers at risk, announcing that such raids will be carried out consistently until the safety of alcoholic drinks in the county is assured.
Nkatha termed the operation a major milestone in the fight against alcoholism and illicit brews in the county, noting that similar raids will be conducted for the next two weeks.
“I want to caution security officers and administrators that they risk losing their jobs if they don’t deliver results,” he said.
On his part, county police commander Kainga Mathiu confirmed that one of the suspects in custody is an ex-police officer who resigned from his job for unknown reasons and ventured into illegal business.
“This business kills lives. These people know very well that what they do endangers the lives of those who consume the drinks that are laced with toxic substances,” he said.
Last week, about 17 people lost their lives and 20 others went blind after consuming drinks thought to have been laced with ethanol.
Mathiu vowed to ensure that similar incidences are not reported in Murang’a, appealing to members of the public to continue volunteering information and be mindful of the alcoholic drinks they consume.
Last Friday, deputy president Rigathi Gachagua who attended an event in Kinyona, Kigumo, gave the county commissioner two weeks to rid the county of illicit alcoholic drinks.
Gachagua praised Nkatha saying he had been successful in fighting alcoholism in other areas and asked other security officers to follow his lead.
“The fight against alcoholism is now 70 per cent successful. In Murang’a, the new county commissioner has clear instructions on what to do."