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Humphrey Kariuki arrested after taking plea in Sh41bn tax evasion case

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki when he was charged on August 19, 2019. Photo/CFM.

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 19 – Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki was on Monday evening arrested by DCI detectives moments after the court ordered him to deposit Sh11 million cash bail in a tax evasion case.

Kariuki was picked up by Flying Squad officers who had been waiting for him outside Milimani Law Courts, and driven to DCI headquarters, with reports now indicating he was being held at an undisclosed police station, awaiting fresh charges Tuesday.

A senior detective at the DCI headquarters confirmed the arrest but did not offer more details.

Kariuki was charged earlier Monday with Sh41 billion tax evasion by his companies Africa Spirits and Wines of the World following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations that started in March.

After Monday court proceedings, Kariuki was also ordered to deposit his two passports as a guarantee that he will remain in the country during the entire period of his case.

The court had ordered him to present himself at the DCI headquarters for processing which ought to have been done before plea-taking.

Kariuki was summoned by the court on August 9 after 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.

He was away when Peter Njenga, Robert Thinji and Kepha Githu Gakure denied tax evasion charges when they appeared before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.

Njenga, Thinji and Gakure were released on Sh11 million cash bail each with an alternative of a bond of Sh20 million.

The court had also issued summonses against Stuart Geraid, Simon Maundu, Africa Spirits Limited, and Wow Beverages Limited.

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The prosecution told the court that the tax period for which the accused persons are said to be non-compliant covered between February 1, 2016 and December 3, 2018.

The court was told the accused – being licensed excise duty manufacturers and registered taxpayers – deliberately failed to file the amount to the commissioner domestic tax by the due dates as 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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