Security heightened at Africa Spirits after Sh2 billion alcohol stolen
By Oliver Musembi
Security at Thika-based Africa Spirits has been beefed up following reports of theft of alcohol from the brewing plant which was closed early last year.
Last Friday, a contingent of General Service Unit officers was deployed to the plant owned by tycoon Humphrey Kariuki who is facing charges of tax evasion to the tune of Sh41 billion along with senior managers.
Recent reports indicate that alcohol worth more than Sh2 billion disappeared mysteriously from the firm that was closed down in January 2019.
The plant was marked as a crime scene and put under 24-hour police surveillance.
Other items that have reportedly gone missing include counterfeit excise duty stamps which were seized by police during last year's raid.
Local police bosses have remained tight-lipped about the heightened security at the firm but journalists who had camped at the scene witnessed the deployment of GSU officers who were driven there in a truck accompanied by detectives from the Directorate Criminal Investigations in unmarked cars, ostensibly to secure the exhibits.
The firm which also manufactured WOW Beverages has been under 24-hour guard by regular police officers and it is not clear how the items were sneaked out.
The management has accused police of collusion in the theft and sale of the items since the premises is guarded round-the-clock.
Contacted, area sub county police boss Beatrice Kiraguri said she was not aware of the change of guard at the firm.
Kariuki' lawyer Cecil Miller welcomed the beefing up of security at firm but said police must account for the theft since the place is under state protection.
“We are concerned that the exhibits which are the property of our client seem to have gone missing from the reports we are getting in the media. The police must be brought to account,” he said on phone.