Kenya: Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki Cries Foul Over Tax Evasion Charges

20 August 2019

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki, who was on Monday charged in connection to tax evasion, has claimed that unnamed persons are out to ruin his business by tarnishing his name.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, Mr Kariuki said he spends less than 130 days a year in the country and the rest of the year abroad committed to his international ventures. The billionaire was re-arrested soon after he posted cash bail of Sh11 million and secured his release.

'RESPECT OF LAW'

This was after he denied 21 counts among them tax evasion, possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit stamps.

Mr Kariuki said he decided to fly back into the country to defend himself against false accusations. "This is in line with the national values relating to the respect of law, integrity, accountability and transparency," he said.

He said he has financed many ventures, "which I do not manage, that collectively pay substantial taxes" and that employment created has positive impact on many Kenyan families and businesses, directly and indirectly.

"I am a patriotic and law abiding citizen, who has never been involved in any criminal activity. As an entrepreneur, I invest in businesses across the world and in all those countries I have never been accused of any wrongdoing, although I am not directly involved in the management of these businesses," he said.

The court heard that they were found in possession of reels of counterfeit excise stamps and thousands of assorted bottles of spirits affixed with counterfeit stamps. It is also alleged that they failed to pay taxes amounting to Sh17.7 billion between February 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. They also allegedly failed to remit VAT on different dates.

Other accused persons were Wow Beverages directors Stuart Gerald Herd and Simon Maundu, a former production manager at Africa Spirits, Mr Robert Thinji Muriithi, Mr Peter Njenga Kuria and Kepha Githu Gakure had denied the charges last week and were released on similar bail terms.

The pre-trail will be held on September 2.

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