The alcoholic control and licensing board has unearthed a tax evasion racket by Nairobi dealers who fake the Kenya Bureau of Standards’ (Kebs) standardisation mark.
More than 10 liquor dealers were arrested on Thursday in the ongoing crackdown on non-compliance with government regulations.
This comes after the Nairobi City County Alcoholic Drinks Control and Licensing board gave the operators until April 23 to close their businesses after revoking their licences following an audit of 609 liquor outlets in the county.
The audit revealed that majority of operators had not met the minimum requirements and had flouted liquor and health regulations.
A team from Nairobi County raided entertainment establishments and wholesale liquor businesses in Nasra and Mowlem estates in Nairobi’s Embakasi Central constituency where they netted drinks which lacked valid Kebs permits.
At Lyniber Supplies Limited, an alcoholic plant located in Mowlem the board, led by chairman Kennedy Odhiambo, busted a Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officer who had authenticated illicit liquor manufactured by the company for distribution.
They arrested the laboratory technician and six employees who were manually cleaning recycled bottles, as well as an importer and distributor who were found guilty of flouting public health provisions and liquor and licence laws.
The board also arrested the owner of Starbase Enterprises, a distributor off Spine Road, for operating without a proper licence. Also arrested was an employee of Domains Kenya Limited, off Likoni Road, who was found sticking KRA stickers on purported imported drinks. The firm is not licensed.
“Majority of operators did not meet the minimum requirements of licensing and liquor and health regulations. They are supposed to store the wines and spirits in a customised warehouse. Where do they get these KRA stamps from?” posed Mr Odhiambo.
He said that they had also closed three liquor outlets in the city for failure to meet minimum requirements for licensing and health standards.
“We have realised that some of these liquors do not have standardisation stickers as required by law. Some also have fake KRA codes, while others were selling expired drinks,” Mr Odhiambo said.