NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – Directors of Africa Spirits Limited, WOW Beverages Limited and seven other associated firms were being questioned Thursday at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over claims of tax evasion and forgery.
According to sources, billionaire Humphrey Kariuki arrived at the DCI at 9am following summons.
The directors were in the company of their lawyers.
“They’re more than 15 lawyers here,” a source who cannot be quoted because of his rank told Capital FM News.
The summons followed last week’s raid at Africa Spirits Limited, the Thika based liquor firm where detectives uncovered 21 million fake Kenya Revenue Authority excise stamps and hundreds of thousands of litres of ethanol suspected to be smuggled into the country from Tanzania among other items.
The DCI Flying Squad raided the firm in a weeklong exercise that culminated in an operation led by DCI George Kinoti who said it would be extended to other firms believed to be engaging in unscrupulous businesses to rake in billions.
According to detectives, the country has been losing about Sh3 billion worth of tax.
The DCI wanted to question the directors to get information which may assist in investigations.
“They are required to appear before the investigating officers at DCI Headquarters along Kiambu Road on 14th day of February 2019 at 8am without fail. It is an offence under Section 52(2) of the National Police Service Act 2011 to fail to comply with this requisition,” a statement from the DCI said.
Other firms implicated in the saga include Gemtal Limited, Signature Wines (HK) Limited, Golden Valley Properties Limited, Lionsbridge Limited, Golden Valley Properties Limited and the Directors of SICPA Kenya Limited.
A statement issued Friday by the Kenya Revenue Authority said Africa Spirits is the manufacturers of portable spirits including Glen Rock, Legend Black, Blue Moon, Legend Brandy among others.
Githii Mburu, the Commissioner of Intelligence at Kenya Revenue Authority said they were also pursuing any of their officers that may have failed to act.
More than 300,000 litres of undeclared ethanol was seized at Africa Spirits.
DCI Kinoti told Capital FM News that the factory would remain sealed until the end of the security operation.