Three arrested for operating 'illegal' coffee mill

Police raid a private coffee mill at Ngiriambu village in Kirinyaga county. Three suspected illegal millers seized.

Photo credit: George Munene

Three people were arrested on suspicion of operating an illegal private coffee mill at Ngiriambu, Kirinyaga County. 

Acting on a tip-off by coffee farmers, police stormed the mill and found workers busy processing coffee, whose source could not be immediately established.

Led by Kirinyaga East Deputy County Commissioner James Wanyoike, the security team seized the suspects and whisked them to the Kianyaga police station for questioning.

They were later released on a police bond and asked to produce documents to prove they were in business legally.

Mr Wanyoike warned that the millers would be charged if they fail to provide milling licences from the relevant authorities.

“The suspects have recorded statements and were freed on a police bond. They have been asked to furnish us with the documents [or] they will face the law and the mill will be closed,” Mr Wanyoike said.

The millers had a difficult time explaining to the security team where they get coffee for processing.

Mr Wanyoike said the security team wants to discourage theft of coffee from local factories.

He said police raided the mill following complaints from farmers that their coffee was stolen from factories at night and sold to unscrupulous private millers.

The administrator said he was aware coffee prices had increased and private millers could have been colluding with thieves to loot farmers’ produce from factories.

Kirinyaga East sub-county police boss Anthony Wanjuu said anyone found engaging in illicit coffee trade would not be spared.


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