GOBABIS: Namibian Police Regional Commander in the Omaheke Region, Commissioner Josephat Abel has warned liquor outlets here to stop the sale of illicit alcohol, which has been declared illegal in the country.
Illicit alcohol is classified as alcohol products that do not comply with Namibian legislation, such as packaging, labelling, contents, composition and subsequently tax evasion.
Abel told Nampa on Tuesday that some liquor outlets still trade in these types of alcohol, despite some forms and brands of alcohol having been declared illegal in the country due to the ingredients contained in them.
A recent operation by the regional police found large quantities of illegal brandy and whisky at liquor trading places, despite consistent warnings not to trade in such alcohol forms.
“We found a large number of such alcohol during our operations, especially in the Otjinene area. This practice must be stopped now as it is harmful to the nation,” Abel charged.
Most popular amongst the banned alcohol is Sir Edwards’ Finest Whisky – a brand of whisky packaged in plastic sachets, which sell for as little as N.dollars 2 per sachet.
The content of the Sir Edwards’ Finest Whisky was found not to be in sync with the 43 per cent claimed on the package.
The product’s label is also contradictory, as it claims to be ‘Produced and Bottled in South Africa’, but also claims to be “Blended with Scotch Whisky”.
According to the Self-regulatory Alcohol Industry Forum (SAIF), products which do not comply with the Liquor Act of 1998 are still found in Namibia, and people who consume these products are unaware that the products may not necessarily be what they think it is.
Some of these products are also not legal in their markets of origin, yet they are sold in Namibia.
Nampa has leant that although such products are marketed as whiskey or brandy, they are in fact simple mixtures of neutral alcohol with colourants and flavourants.
Such products do not comply with Section 48 of the Act on the sale of illicit alcohol, which deals with brand reliability.
Abel said the sale of illicit cigarettes is also doing the rounds in the region, and those found guilty of such acts will be hammered with similar punishments as those for illicit alcohol.
“There is this brand of cigarettes called ‘Yes’, which is also illegal, and we have been confiscating a number of them from outlets. If you are one of those selling such cigarettes, be warned that we are coming after you,” he noted.
SAIF has partnered with other stakeholders in the industry such as the Namibia Standards’ Institution (NSI); the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Trade and Industry; NamPol; Namibia Shebeen Association; and the City of Windhoek to combat the production and/or consumption of illicit alcohol and related products in the Namibian market.