Manhunt on for owner of Thika-based alcohol firm

Friday February 08 2019

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti inspects an alcoholic drink manufactured by Africa Spirits Ltd in Thika on February 8, 2019. PHOTO | MARY WAMBUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Police have arrested the production manager of Africa Spirits Ltd over illegal ethanol and fake Kenya Revenue Authority stamps found during an inspection in Thika town earlier today.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti further said that a manhunt for the owner and other senior staff has been launched.

He said they seek to know how the firm has been smuggling ethanol from Tanzania and sourcing the fake stamps. The plant has since been closed pending the conclusion of the investigations.

The 11am operation included Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and KRA's commissioner of Intelligence and Strategic Operations, Mr Githii Mburu.

Some of the firm's popular brands are Blue Moon Vodka, Glenrock whiskey, Furaha Gin and Legend Brandy.



Last week during a raid by Flying Squad, KRA and DCI officers, tanks containing ethanol were found hidden in trucks loaded with maize.

It is reported that the firm was manufacturing and selling the drinks without subjecting them to required safety checks.

Flying Squad boss Musa Yego confirmed that the company's products are not fit for human consumption.

"Some of the stamps on the drinks have failed KRA tests. Those are the ones we are going to charge the owner of this premises for," Mr Yego said.


Three suspects were arrested in the raid that began on Wednesday and ended on Friday.

KRA Deputy Commissioner Ann Irungu said the operation was part of the government's efforts to stop the sale of illicit alcohol.

She urged alcohol consumers to be cautious of the products they consume by using Soma Label mobile phone application to verify their suitability.


Editor's note: This story was updated to remove erroneous information about Africa Spirits Ltd.