Fake sanitiser, cigarettes, alcohol impounded in Meru

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Police in Tigania East, Meru county, impounded fake sanitiser, cigarettes, banned polythene papers, distillers and ethanol in a house in Kiguchwa.

A woman aged 40, only identified as Gacheri, was arrested.

Tigania Central subcounty police commander Nixon Makokha said they were yet to estimate the value of the 100 fully packed cartons.

The haul consisted of Supermatch cigarettes for export, polythene papers, sanitiser and hundreds of empty bottles for alcohol.

Makokha said DCI officers, led by Stephen Murega, had to use extra force to open the doors of the house where the goods were found because workers at the den had run away.

“We struggled to gain entry into the main house because the main suspect refused to open. She is the owner of the building. She was cunning. She hid inside her bathroom, forcing our officers to climb on the rooftop to peep in through the iron sheets. There are underground rooms and exit points we suspect workers used,” Makokha said.

Makokha thanked area residents for the tip-off which they acted on.

“We got a tip-off that suspicious deals were being conducted in the home. Our officers came here at 5am. It was hard to unravel the mystery inside the dark room where we confiscated substandard fertilisers and manufacturing items for the same and alcohol processing items,” he said.

Makokha said the suspect was tricky and villagers had insisted the home had no occupant.

A detective told the Star, one cigarette carton traded at Sh30, 000 and the 100 cartons could cost Sh3 million. He said the sanitiser and alcohol posed a danger to the health of residents especially at the time the country was faced with Covid-19.

He said such businesses were detrimental to the growth of the economy because the manufacturers did not have the Kenya Bureau of Standards approval, making the nation lose revenue.

Makhokha said the suspect would be presented in court at later date but would be out on a police bond.

“We urge residents to provide information about people operating illegal businesses risking lives of many,” he said.

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