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Thika based spirits factory shut over Sh1.2 billion illicit brew

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has shut down a factory owned by Africa Spirits Limited in Thika after the taxman alongside detectives drawn from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) seized 312,000 litres of illicit alcohol valued at an estimated cost of Ksh 1.2 billion from the plant on Friday.

In a joint statement to newsrooms, KRA and DCI said the team also seized an estimated 21 million counterfeit excise stamps and an unspecified amount of ethanol from the premises.

KRA and DCI say that the investigations have been ongoing since January 31 adding that the factory has been sealed off to allow them complete investigations.

Africa Spirits is a licensed manufacturer of portable spirits including Legend Brandy, Blue Moon, Gypsy King, Legend Black and Furaha Brandy.

“A production manager at the factory was arraigned in court and detained for seven days to facilitate further investigation. The directors of the company and other senior management members are being sought,” read the joint statement.

This operation is part of the government’s ongoing campaign against illicit trade aimed at ensuring compliance with tax and consumer protection laws.


Earlier this week, the company was called out on social media over allegations of being in possession of large amounts of poor quality ethanol and producing substandard alcohol at the factory.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) called for the factory to be shut down immediately.

“News of a Thika-based alcohol manufacturing plant, Africa spirits, being found in possession of ethanol of questionable quality and suspected fake KRA stamps is a very disturbing consumer issue. While we are grateful both KRA and KEBS have since acted, there is need to shut down such distilleries and ensure total compliance before they are re-opened,” read a statement by COFEK released on January 4.


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