The Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA) has unearthed an illegal distillery and impounded contraband liquor worth Sh40 million in a homestead in Mutuati, Meru County.
The anti-counterfeit officials in cooperation with police also arrested six people following a raid.
According to ACA enforcement assistant director Lindsay Kipkemoi, the suspects were producing various brands of fake alcohol and packaging before selling them to unsuspecting consumers mostly in Meru, Isiolo and Laikipia counties.
Anti-counterfeit officials found used bottles packed in sacks, bottle tops, fake Kenya Bureau of Standards seals, stickers belonging to five companies and drums of a substance suspected to be ethanol.
The six were arrested and their stores in the homestead ransacked for the illegal goods, following leads from the legal producers of the beverage.
He said the legal producers had raised concerns that their market was full in Meru yet they had not made any supplies.
It was upon the revelation, he added, that they began their investigations and the raid which led to the brewery which has been in operation for more than one year unnoticed.
Mr Kipkemoi who led the operation with Igembe North deputy DCIO Josphat Mukangai said detectives are still looking for the owner of the distillery Richard Koome who escaped their dragnet.
“We have seized ten rolls of KRA stickers, 5,000 litres of ethanol and more than 300 cartons full of products ready for the market in the homestead. We will dismantle the distillery that has no permit nor a licence while its products does not meet the KEBS standards,” he told journalists at the homestead.
He said the government was losing millions in revenue while thousands of lives were at risk with their dubious content whose safety cannot be guaranteed.
“We urge anyone who want to operate a distillery to follow the law to earn genuinely,’’ he said.
Mr Kipkemboi said the suspects will be arraigned in court on Wednesday in a Nairobi court to avoid what he term as interference in Meru.