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Tabitha Karanja slams Haji for ordering her arrest, says not questioned over alleged tax fraud

In a statement sent to newsrooms Tuesday evening, Tabitha Karanja (left) described the claims by DPP Noordin Haji (right) as baseless and without facts as they did not reflect what was going on in the company./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Keroche Breweries Managing Director Tabitha Karanja has slammed Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji for ordering her arrest over a Sh14.5 billion tax fraud investigation.

In a statement sent to newsrooms Tuesday evening, Karanja described the claims as baseless and without facts as they did not reflect what was going on in the company.

She further stated that she has not received any communication from the office of the DPP nor has any investigating officer questioned her over the alleged fraud.

“I have never seen any investigating officer in our brewery at any given time in Keroche’s lifetime. It is such a gross violation, harassment and intimidation by such a high office in our beloved country,” she stated.

She pointed out that the way the matter has been handled was humiliating, embarrassing and that she has been treated without respect.

“We are deeply shocked beyond imagination by both the allegations made and the manner in which the matter has been handled from the dissemination of the information.”

On Wednesday, Haji ordered the arrest of Tabitha who co-owns the company with her husband Joseph Karanja over tax fraud.

Haji also ordered Joseph’s arrest.

He stated that he perused an investigation file submitted by the Kenya Revenue Authority, which recommended their prosecution for evading taxes, totaling Sh14.5 billion between January 2015 and June 2019.

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On Wednesday, Haji ordered the arrest of Tabitha (left) who co-owns the company with her husband Joseph Karanja (right) over tax fraud. Haji also ordered Joseph’s arrest/FILE – COURTESY

The file was submitted on August 18 at the completion of an investigation on the Naivasha-based brewery, that has had numerous tax disputes with the taxman.

The charges on Keroche came a week after the arrest and prosecution of top officials of Africa Spirits and Wines Limited and Wow Beverages Limited on accusations of evading Sh41 billion in taxes.

Those already charged include tycoon Humphrey Kariuki, who admits having shares in the companies but denies playing any role in their day-to-day management of the breweries.

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