COFEK SECRETARY GENERAL MR STEPHEN MUTORO PRESS STATEMENT ON PROLIFERATION OF ILLICIT/COUNTERFEIT ALCOHOLIC PRODUCTS HELD ON MARCH 16, 2017 AT THE LAICO REGENCY HOTEL, NAIROBI

Ladies and gentlemen, it has come to our attention that there is a sudden increase in fake and unlicensed alcoholic products in circulation in Kenya despite the government directive to crackdown illicit brews and drugs.

In the quest to make quick money, manufacturers of illicit brews are spiking their backyard concoctions with deadly industrial chemicals such as methanol, food grade ethanol, sisal juice or jet fuel, to make them more potent and more desirable to consumers. An estimated 4 million Kenyans countrywide are currently consuming illicit brews.

While the illicit alcohol causes health hazards, illegal business significantly hurts the economy. Such illegal business robs the country of young people who could otherwise engage in meaningful productive economic activities.

An estimated 14,000 young people die each year from complications related to consuming illegally-brewed alcohol while many more victims are currently suffering permanent defects resulting from second generation alcoholic drinks. It is instructive to note that with a comprehensive research, the numbers of victims could rise.

Surging numbers of illegal alcohol manufacturers are exposing millions of Kenyan consumers to health risks such as substance poisoning. It is the poorest of the poor in society who provide an immediate market for the uninspected alcoholic beverages which often contain lethal compounds.

We have received reports from various distributors and distillers across the country, who have raised valid concerns about some of their popular brands being illegally repackaged and sold to unsuspecting consumers by unscrupulous traders.

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