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KRA in drive to curb sale, use of illicit alcohol

Counterfeit alcohol. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Counterfeit alcohol. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is working with alcohol manufacturers and traders in a fresh bid to stamp out fake or illicit drinks from the market.

The taxman on Tuesday announced a set of workshops to sensitise all players, including the police, in the drive to curb the sale and consumption of illicit alcohol.

The workshops will take place across the country in 35 major towns including Kiambu, Kericho, Meru, and Homa Bay between Wednesday and a the end of this month.

“Kenya Revenue Authority in collaboration with the interagency taskforce on control of potable spirit and combating illicit brews and the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya, (ABAK) has organised sensitisations on use of the Soma label application in the identification of illicit alcoholic beverages,” said KRA Commissioner of Domestic Taxes Benson Korongo in a notice.

The move comes several weeks after a lobby group pushed the government to act on what it termed an intricate web of illicit alcoholic drinks racket involving in ethanol smuggling and use of fake KRA stamps to evade tax.

The Futa Magendo Action Network (FMAN) mid last month wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta on unscrupulous traders importing illicit ethanol through the Kenya-Tanzania border.

The cartel was also said to be importing untaxed raw spirit from Tanzania, denying KRA billions of shillings.