Humphrey Kariuki tax evasion case: DCI wants accounts to remain frozen

Humphrey Kariuki tax evasion case: DCI wants accounts to remain frozen
Businessman Humphrey Kariuki at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on August 19, 2019. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Directorare of Criminal Investigations (DCI) now says that investigation conducted have revealed that companies allegedly associated to businessman Humphrey Kariuki  African Spirits , Wow Beverages Limited and their associates may have possibly been involved in the commission of money laundering.

“Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki with others mentioned above are shareholders and directors Axis Logistics limited a company which is a one shareholder of African Spirits Limited,” read the court papers.

According to the DCI,  large sums of money movement in the intertwined companies believed to be proceeds of crimes, necessitated them to look into the same and the money laundering aspect.

In the case, the DCI has mentioned several companies including  signature wines (HL) limited, Golden valley properties limited, Gemtal limited , Claudine Mathis, Lions bridge Limited, Kigumba limited, Axis logistics limited noting that preliminary investigations have revealed that that shareholders and directors of all companies named are one and the same persons and are even related.

The DCI further insisted that it is important that the accounts and money be preserved for 90 days to enable them complete investigations and in the results that they are convicted the payments will be realizable.

They further argued that African Spirits failed to prove that the DCI and IG abused the legal process while seeking orders to have nine bank accounts of the said companied held at National Bank frozen pending probe.

“According to CR13/12 records obtained from the office of attorney general, the Kigumba limited appearing as a shareholder of African Spirits with one ordinary share, the shareholders and directors are Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa , Kisima Management company  and Nyawira Wangari Ndegwa,”read the papers.

“Where a person is convicted of an offence under tax law and for which taxes were not paid the court may order the convicted person to make payment to the commissioner of the whole part as remains unpaid either in addition to or substitution if any other penalty” said the DCI.

During Monday’s sitting, the court directed that the matter be heard on Tuesday next week.

The DCI asked the court to reverse an order unfreezing accounts of several companies associated with businessman Humphrey Kariuki.

Justice Luka Kimaru however declined to issue the order sought by Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki saying the issues at hand should be argued in court next week.

Mwaniki wanted the order reinstated as she sought an adjournment in the case by Africa Spirits Limited before the High Court.

She had argued that a magistrate’s court in Kiambu reversed its freeze order when it knew there was already a related case in the High Court.

Justice Kimaru said he would adjudicate on the extraction of the order obtained by the DCI and DPP in Kiambu which the court reversed last Friday.

Lawyer Cecil Miller has objected to the application for an adjournment, saying the delay was detrimental to the businesses.

He also argued that the DCI was seeking to reinstate the freeze orders through the back door.

On Friday, Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo ruled that the order served on two banks to freeze the accounts was irregular since the Directorate of Criminal Investigations never sought such an order in the first place.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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