Kenya: City Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki Charged With Tax Evasion

19 August 2019

City billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki has been charged with tax evasion on Monday.

Mr Kariuki, who was present in court, is said to have jetted into the country Monday morning, more than a week after an arrest warrant was issued against him.

The prosecution has presented three files.

In the first file, the accused are charged with nine counts relating to tax evasion amounting to Sh17 billion.

TAX EVASION

Detectives had been hunting for the businessman after the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Noordin Haji, ordered his arrest alongside eight others on claims of tax evasion amounting to more than Sh41 billion by Africa Spirits and Wow Beverages in Thika.

Mr Kariuki, Wow Beverages directors Stuart Gerald Herd and Robert Thinji Muriithi, and Africa Spirits Directors Peter Njenga Kuria and Geoffrey Kaaria Kinoti Mbombua are facing a total of 21 counts of tax evasion and being in possession of counterfeit excise duty stamps.

PASSPORTS

Mr Kariuki's lawyer Kioko Kilukumi has pleaded that the tycoon be freed on bond saying he is not a flight risk.

However, the plea had been objected by the prosecution saying he was yet to be processed by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Mr Vincent Monda said the prosecution also needs to look at his passports -- a Kenyan and European Union one -- to verify if he could be a flight risk.

Mr Kariuki, through his lawyer, told the court that he flies with a Kenyan passport and holds a Cyprus passport.

BAIL

He further said he is not a director of Africa Spirits but an investor through a corporate body.

The second accused person, Mr Gerald said, through his lawyer Davis Osiemo, that he is only a director of the company just because his name appears on CR12. He said he neither knows the location of the plant neither plays any role in the day-to-day running of the company.

A CR12 is an official confirmation letter by the Registrar of Companies as to who are the listed shareholders or directors of a company. It also confirms that the company's records exist at the Company Registry.

He pleaded to be freed on lenient bail terms.

On his part, Mr Maundu said he has been jobless since January 31, 2019 when the beer distiller was closed.

He said he was the production manager and cannot raise the Sh10 million cash bail slapped on the other three accused persons who pleaded to the charges last week.

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