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BY UPESI NEWS WRITER,16TH JUNE,2020-The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in collaboration with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have impounded illicit liquor worth Ksh.4 million, following a sting operation at Phoenix Wines & Spirits Depot located in Ahero, Mich Wholesalers in Subukia and Savannah Wines & Spirits in Bahati area of Nakuru County.
The multi-agency team was acting on intelligence when they carried an operation at the premises and recovered various brands of counterfeit alcohol. The company was found to be manufacturing counterfeits of genuine alcohol brands.
In a statement issued on Monday, KRA said the recovered products included; 88 cartons of Steem Vodka, 60 cartons of Supa Vodka, 62 cartons of Bob Vodka, 10 cartons of Sir Antonio Vodka, 51 crates of Samanna Ice Vodka, two cartons of Moonwalker Vodka, three cartons of Kingston Vodka and some Chrome Vodka.
The owner of the depot was arrested and the company vehicles impounded.
He was arraigned at Nakuru Law Courts on Monday and was charged for operating without an excise license and manufacturing counterfeits alcohol brands contrary to the provision of section 15 read together with section 39(5) and (6) of the Excise Duty Act.
The products were also not affixed with excise stamp contrary to the provisions of section 28 read together with section 40 of the Excise Duty Act.
In a similar operation, the multi-agency team searched several wines and spirits depots and homes manufacturers in Subukia Town and Bahati area. During the operation, the team searched Boss Distillers Ltd in Bahati alongside Mich Wholesalers and Savannah wines and spirits in Subukia Town.
The team confiscated various brands of counterfeit liquor that included 29 cartons, 19 pieces of Economy Vodka, 61 crates, 12 pieces of Mara Ice Vodka, 713 cartons, 22 pieces of Budget Gin, Steem Vodka Aquila Vodka and Simba Vodka.
Most of the brands are unlicensed and the public are advised not to buy, sell or consume the products. KRA caution both wholesalers, stockiest and retailers to avoid unlicensed brands of spirits such as Economy Vodka, Aquila Vodka, Steem Vodka, Simba Vodka, Leader and Boss Vodka.
This is after they found traders manufacturing unlicensed alcoholic brands fabricating brands of licensed manufacturers.
Three suspects were arrested during the operation and they are assisting the police with investigations.
The multi-agency team is working around the clock to ensure that illicit trade is eliminated in the country. The team will continue with the operation and all culprits will be prosecuted and their machinery and products seized.
Manufacturers are also urged to safeguard their brands bottles, tops and labels to eliminate counterfeiting of their products.
KRA reminds wholesalers, stockiest and retailers to avoid the following unlicensed brands of spirits: economy vodka, Aquila vodka, teem vodka, Simba vodka leader and Boss vodka.
To boost the fight against counterfeit products, KRA rolled out the Excisable Goods Management System (EGMS) on alcohol, bottled water, juices, energy drinks, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages.
The system require the products to be affixed with excise stamps making it easy for the public to identify illicit products. EGMS has contributed immensely in the fight against illicit trade and level the playing ground for traders as well as protect consumers from substandard products.