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Court summons tycoon Humphrey Kariuki as 3 charged in Sh41bn tax evasion scam

Kariuki is wanted in Kenya to face charges of evading to pay Sh41 billion in taxes through his businesses Africa Spirits and Wines of the World/FILE – COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – A magistrate court in Nairobi has summoned businessman Humphrey Kariuki and four others accused of evading taxes to the tune of Sh41 billion.

Kariuki, who is believed to be in the United Kingdom, is required to appear in court alongside Stuart Geraid, Simon Maundu, Africa Spirits Limited, and Wow Beverages Limited with the court set to convene on August 19 to confirm the compliance of the two directors and representatives of the two companies.

The prosecution applied for the summonses, when three of Kariuki’s employees were charged with the offence of failing to pay tax to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as required by law.

The trio – Peter Njenga, Robert Thinji and Kepha Githu Gakure – denied the tax evasion charges when they appeared before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi on Friday.

The Magistrate ordered the release of the three on Sh11 million cash bail each with an alternative of a bond of Sh20 million.

They were to deposit their traveling documents in court, the magistrate scheduling a pre-trial conference on September 5.

Defense lawyers, Edward Oonge, Bernard Musyoki Nzakyo and Cecil Miller had applied to have the three accused persons who appeared in court on Friday released on lenient terms on grounds that they have been reporting to the Director of Criminal Investigations for last seven months once a week.

They said the accused are not flight risk, and that they will attend court for their trial.

The lawyers also contested the Sh41 billion figure quoted by the prosecution telling the court that they will

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The court heard from the defense counsel, that figures of Sh 41 billion is contested and they will demonstrate at the hearing of the case indeed the amounted questionable.

The prosecution told the court that the tax period covered between February 1, 2016 and December 3, 2018 the accused persons – being licensed excise duty manufacturers and registered taxpayers – deliberately failed to file the amount to the commissioner domestic tax by the due dates required by law.

The accused persons face nineteen counts, which include being in possession of counterfeit revenue stamps, being in possession of unaccustomed goods and conspiracy to contravene section 193 of the East African Community Management Act 2004.

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