|Counterfeit The Famous Grouse |
bought at a shop along
Nairobi's Dubois road,
note the packaging.
Popular drinks are either substituted with similar looking forms of alcohol or blended with them. Vodka is substituted with chang'aa , a local moonshine drink while brandies are used to dilute, or wholly sold off as more expensive whiskies. There is suspicion that some of the alcohol used in this drinks is diluted industrial alcohol. Industrial alcohol is normally cleared, with tricks such as food colouring and perfume deployed to have the counterfeit alcohol look like the genuine one.
The syndicate appears to be recycling bottles which are collected from garbage dumps, especially in Nairobi Eastlands areas. Consumption of such alochols is high to provide a steady supply of enough bottles for the counterfeiting.
|Genuine The Famous Grouse . |
Popsop.com states that
the design is award winning.
Note how the bird is placed
on the three sides of the box.
Normally, more costly spirits feature a refill-proof plastic contraption that is fitted into the neck of the bottle just below the mouth. A non-refilled bottle should have a ball in the plastic contraption that jiggles when the bottle is shaken. Counterfeiters have gotten around this feature by removing the ball, refilling the bottles and then sealing them again by fixing a plastic fitting using super glue. This means that one has to break the small plastic fitting in contrast to a genuine spirit where the bottle has to be tilted at an angle for the drink to flow out.
Notable outlets stocking counterfeit alcohol include two spirit stockists along Dubois road , off Accra Road. Here, 750 ml bottles of spirits including The Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker retail at Ksh 1,300 compared to supermarkets where the drinks start at about Ksh 1,700. East African Breweries directly retails Johhnie Walker at about Ksh 1,400.
|A bust of counterfeit spirits in Malaysia,|
more images here.
The far east , with a burgeoning middle class, is notorious for rackets that specialise in counterfeit liquor , especially in China and Malaysia. In 2010, China was rocked by a fake wine scandal where wines consisted of nothing but water and chemicals.