DPP approves Ksh.41B tax evasion charges against billionaire Humphrey Kariuki


DPP approves Ksh.41B tax evasion charges against billionaire Humphrey Kariuki
Businessman Humphrey Kariuki. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to DPP Haji, an audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) revealed that Africa Spirits Limited/WOW Beverages Limited had evaded the payment of tax amounting to Ksh.41,539,038,448  between 2014-2019.
  • Kariuki, who will be charged alongside eight employees of Africa Spirits is also facing charges of fraud, being in possession of uncustomed goods and being in possession of counterfeit excise stamps.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji on Thursday approved tax evasion charges against billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki.

According to DPP Haji, an audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) revealed that Africa Spirits Limited/WOW Beverages Limited had evaded the payment of tax amounting to Ksh.41,539,038,448  between 2014-2019.

Kariuki, who will be charged alongside eight employees of Africa Spirits is also facing charges of fraud, being in possession of uncustomed goods and being in possession of counterfeit excise stamps.

Other charges include and being in possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps and failure to pay tax.

The audit further revealed that false declarations to KRA.

DPP Haji has further directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to pursue the aspect of money laundering and forward the file for perusal.

In Feb 26, 2019, the High Court in Nairobi granted orders to freeze 11 accounts associated with the business tycoon over alleged tax evasion amounting to Ksh.3 billion.

This even as the businessman companies moved to court to challenge the orders freezing the accounts claiming that KRA lied to court and brought dishonest allegations to obtain orders freezing his companies.

“There is a premeditated, well-coordinated and persistent scheme devised by KRA to malign my reputation and cause me business loss. They accounts,” says Kariuki in court papers.

“It is also a deliberate untruth made dishonestly by KRA to obtain the court orders freezing the accounts. They know we don’t manufacture alcohol and act as importers of liquor, which they already tax before entry into the country,” argued Kariuki.

In early February, police raided Mr. Kariuki’s Africa Spirits Limited plant and recovered an estimated Ksh.21 million counterfeit excise stamps and 312,000 litres of illicit products.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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