7 people arrested 685 liters of alcohol caught as police officers raid Kericho illegal distiller

A collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of seven suspects and the confiscation of a substantial quantity of alcohol in the Pala area, situated on the border of Kericho and Kisumu counties.

Upon receiving a tip-off from vigilant members of the public regarding a suspicious vehicle entering a secluded mabati structure in the sparsely populated region, police swiftly mobilized. Officers from Nyando Sub-County (Kisumu) and Soin Police Station (Kericho) promptly secured the area.

Kericho County Commissioner (CC) Gilbert Kitiyo disclosed that 2,740 bottles of packaged alcohol were discovered at the makeshift facility. Among the illicit beverages seized were 56 cartons of Space Vodka, 27 bottles of African Blend Vodka, and 54 bottles of Best Patiala Brand, amounting to a total of 685 liters.

Additionally, a variety of counterfeit drinks such as Venice, Power, Ace, Golden Star, African Spice, and Space were uncovered on the premises. Law enforcement officers also retrieved 1,070 liters of ethanol and 35,000 counterfeit Kenya Revenue Authority excise duty stamps. The compound yielded further evidence, including 10,000 empty bottles, an alcohol meter, and packaging materials.

The confiscated consignment was estimated to be worth millions of shillings. Samples will undergo testing at the government chemist to ascertain their exact value. Kitiyo explained that based on the packaged items alone, the government stood to collect Sh. 250,000 in excise duty.

The suspects, believed to have relocated from Nakuru, were in the process of establishing an illegal alcohol packaging factory. Examination of the packaged products revealed that they were intended for distribution in Nakuru and central Kenya.

Authorities impounded the vehicle used for transporting the illicit goods, registered under the name of Mr. James Nderitu. An investigation has been initiated to determine Nderitu’s involvement in the discovered operation.

Kitiyo commended the public for their cooperation and urged them to remain vigilant in the fight against illicit brews and narcotics. He emphasized the continuation of the multi-agency operation, which has already resulted in the closure of 1,560 bars in Kericho County, until the menace is eradicated.