Kisumu police told to resist protecting illegal alcohol cartels

The police have been accused of protecting distillers who produce illegal drinks. [File, Standard]

Police officers colluding with traders to compromise the war against illicit brews in Nyanza region face dire consequences, a Government official has warned.

Nyanza Regional Commissioner Moffat Kangi directed all police officers to co-operate as the crackdown on illegal liquor starts in earnest.

The Ministry of Interior has declared war on illicit drinks in the region, most of which are reportedly from Uganda.

However, there are reports some licensed local distillers are also manufacturing the banned drinks due to demand.

The police have been accused of protecting distillers who produce illegal drinks.

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Speaking as he announced the crackdown yesterday, Mr Kangi said stern action would be taken against police officers found compromising the war against the banned drinks.

Recent reshuffle

The commissioner, who was posted to the region following a recent reshuffle, refused to respond to queries about past operations. He said he would only respond to questions about what happened after his posting to the region.

The illegal brews are popular because of their low cost. A sachet of 100ml is sold for between Sh20 and Sh50.

The traders mainly target the poor population, who are the majority and who cannot afford beer in bars.

In Kisumu, there are reports that police are also involved in transporting the drinks in exchange for a 'protection' fee.

Last year, officers from two police units reportedly clashed when the members of one unit impounded illicit liquor allegedly being transported by members of the other unit.

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"We will ensure that the officers work within the law. Their integrity will be paramount," Kangi said yesterday.

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