14 March 2019

Kenya: High Court Declines to Order Reopening of Platinum Distillers

The High Court has declined to order the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to re-open a Ruiru-based alcohol manufacturing company it closed down on February 23 over tax evasion.

Justice Weldon Korir Thursday said the application by Platinum Distillers Limited lacks merit.

Justice Korir said the premises were closed over allegations of importing hazardous ethanol.

The judge said KRA requires 30 days to complete investigations.

The judge directed that the case filed by Platinum against KRA be heard on March 23, 2019.

RIGHT TO TRADE

Lawyer Christopher Kabugu for Platinum had asked the court to direct to direct KRA to re-open the premises saying its decision to close down the factory was a violation of the rights to trade.

But KRA lawyers Nelly Ngovi and George Ochieng objected to the re-opening plea saying the company was dealing with an illegal commodity and evading tax.

Justice Korir upheld the objection by KRA and gave the taxman time to finalise investigations.

The premises were closed down by KRA during an operation led by former Inspector-General of Police IG Joseph Boinnet and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

Two directors of Platinum have since been charged for failing to pay tax to the tune of Sh41 million.

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