810 litres of ethanol seized in Kitengela, one suspect in custody 

Isinya Sub County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi (right), Kitengela OCS David Ole Shani displaying fake KRA stamps and jerrycans of ethanol recovered during the raid at Kitengela's High View Estate.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Police in Kitengela, Kajiado East Sub County, have seized 810 litres of ethanol, fake Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) stamps and arrested a suspect during a police raid at High View Estate.

A contingent of armed undercover regular police officers and their counterparts from the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), led by Kitengela OCS David Ole Shani, acting on a tip-off from members of the public, swooped on a warehouse within the gated community on Friday night.

The raid uncovered jerrycans ethanol hidden with the hay on the compound.

A man driving a van that was trying to take out some jerrycans of ethanol fell into a police dragnet. The vehicle is currently being held at Kitengela police station.

A roll of fake KRA stamps and several empty bottles of second generation liquor were also seized.

The front of the warehouse depicted a homely environment with clotheslines, firewood, chickens and ducks. Inside the unkempt warehouse, there were a few household items and a pile of unpacked hay grass covering the cans of ethanol.

Suspicious members of the public living on the estate alerted the police after months of monitoring the movements from the remote warehouse, which was originally intended to be a house.

"Initially, the owner of the house, who doesn't live here, wanted to build a distillery, but we objected. We have always been curious about the activities in the compound, which is always under lock and key," said Mr Sammy Kimutai, chairman of the estate.

Locals want the security apparatus to step up the crackdown on smuggling and illicit brewing in the region, especially within the gated community estates. 

"This has been an ethanol supply centre for months. We want the security apparatus to be on high alert. Let the unscrupulous traders be brought to book to protect the future generation," said Charles Mutai, a resident.

Isinya Sub County Police Commander Patrick Manyasi said security agencies were on high alert to curb smuggled ethanol and illicit brews in the region, describing the operation as "totally successful".

"Due to the proximity of our jurisdiction to the capital Nairobi, we are on high alert in the fight against contraband and illicit brew. We commend the public for their cooperation and samples will be taken for analysis at the government laboratory to build a strong case," Mr Manyasi said.

He also issued a stern warning to unscrupulous illegal alcohol distillers who move from towns to residential areas to evade security agencies.

"We have identified some of the suspects in the illegal trade who are currently on the police radar. We will take the war to their doorsteps. They have nowhere to run," he added.

The consignment of ethanol has been taken to Isinya Sub County Police Headquarters for storage as evidence.

The seized ethanol is believed to have been smuggled into the country through the porous Kenya-Tanzania border and transported to Kitengela along the Namanga highway. In the past, drums of ethanol worth millions of shillings have been intercepted in transit on trailers.