NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – Owners of Keroche Breweries Limited were on Friday released on cash bail after denying ten counts related to tax evasion amounting to Sh14.5 billion.
Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph were released on Sh10 million and Sh2 million cash bail respectively after denying charges leveled against them by the State.
Alternatively, Joseph was asked to secure a bond of Sh5 million while his wife was given a bond of Sh15 million.
The husband was given a favourable bail terms due to his medical condition that prompted police to release him on a personal bond while Tabitha spent the night in custody following their arrest on Thursday.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi however granted them seven days to make the payment failure to which they will be arrested and put in custody until they honour the directive.
The two were also asked to surrender their passports in court but the Chief Magistrate explained that they were not banned from travelling outside the country.
“When they wish to travel, they will have to inform to notify they court to ensure their travels will not coincide with the time they’re required to attend to court and therefore cause inconvenience or delay in the proceedings,” he ruled.
The matter will be mentioned on September 2 with a pretrial set for September 24 before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.
The two were arrested on Thursday, a day after Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approved charges against them.
They were whisked from Naivasha, where Keroche Breweries Limited is headquartered, by a team of flying squad officers led by the unit boss Musa Yego and driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu Road.
Karanja has since dismissed the accusations as baseless and without facts.
In a statement on Thursday, Tabitha Karanja said no investigating officer had questioned her over the alleged tax fraud.
In a rejoinder, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) defended its actions against Keroche Breweries Limited stating that the fight against tax evasion is not maliciously targeting any business or individual.