NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 9 – Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti is set to apply for an international warrant of arrest against tycoon Humphrey Kariuki who is wanted over tax evasion.
Kinoti told Capital FM News Thursday evening that he will be seeking Interpol’s help in arresting the billionaire businessman who is out of the country. He holds dual citizenship from Cyprus.
In the warrant, Kinoti wants Interpol to arrest and detain Kariuki wherever he is found, with the activation of a Red Notice at airports across the world.
“I am applying for an international warrant of arrest for Humphrey Kariuki through Intrepol for him to be arrested and detained anywhere in the world including all airports,” Kinoti said.
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.
Charges against him were approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, following an investigation undertaken by the DCI.
Kariuki is to be prosecuted alongside three directors of WoW Beverages Limited, four others from Africa Spirits Limited and a driver said to be an accomplice.
The alleged tax evasion offences were committed between 2014 and this year, according to the DPP, who want them arraigned in court with various counts—including engaging in fraud, failing to pay tax and being in possession of counterfeit excise stamps.
Haji said he had allowed the companies to settle the tax evasion issue out of court with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) but it did not work.
“With regards to non-payment of taxes, some of the parties were given an opportunity to settle the matter with the KRA, but the process was unsuccessful,” the DPP said in a statement issued on Thursday.
An investigation on the two firms started early this year when the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti led detectives in a major raid at factories located in Thika where over a million bottles of assorted alcoholic drinks and 24,000 counterfeit excise stamps were seized.
An audit by KRA further revealed that the production system at the Africa Spirits Limited factory plant in Thika had been tampered with, leading to the submission of false tax declarations.
As a result, the DPP said: “I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge the suspects.”
Other than Kariuki, those to be arrested include Peter Njenga Kuria (Director Africa Spirits Limited), Robert Thinji Muriithi (Director WOW Beverages Limited), Geoffrey Kaaria (Director Africa Spirits Limited), Sethu Prabhu (Assistant Production Manager, Africa Spirits Limited), Eric Nzomba (Driver) and Kepha Githu Gakure (Tax Manager, Africa Spirits Limited/WoW Beverages Limited).