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Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki freed on Sh11mn cash bail after denying tax fraud

Humphrey Kariuki (pictured) was charged over unpaid taxes for his companies Africa Spirits and Wines of the World following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations./FILE – COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki has been charged with Sh41 billion tax evasion after jetting into the country on Monday.

Kariuki was charged over unpaid taxes for his companies Africa Spirits and Wines of the World following investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

After denying the charges, a Magistrate’s court at the Milimani Law Courts ordered him to either pay Sh11 million or bond of Sh20 million to secure his freedom.

He is also required to deposit his two passports as a guarantee that he will remain in the country during the period of his trial.

The court also directed the businessman to present himself at DCI headquarters for formal processing.

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.

Kariuki was in the United Kingdom 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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