Tycoon Kariuki, 14 others summoned to DCI over forgery, tax evasion

Businessman Humprey Kariuki ordered to appear at DCI headquarters in Kiambu.
Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki and 14 other directors of various companies have been summoned to Directorate of Criminal Investigations Thursday for questioning into claims of tax evasion and forgery.

DCI boss George Kinoti said they believe the wanted persons are connected to the allegations or have information which may assist in investigations.

“They are required to appear before the investigating officers at DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road on February 14, 2019 at 8 am without fail,” said Kinoti.

He added it is an offence under section 52 (2) of the National Police Service Act 2011 to fail to comply with the summonses.

Those wanted under Africa Spirit Limited include Peter Njenga Kariuki, Geoffrey Kaaria Kinoti Mbobua, Signature Wines (HK) Liminted, Golden Valley Properties Limited directors Jane Wanjiru Njenga, Kuria and Mary Wambui Njihia.

The others include Gental Limited, Claudine Mathis, Lionsbridge Limited directors Dennis Murithi Kimathi and Mbobua.

Others are Kigumba Limited directors, Kisima Management Company Limited, Kariuki and Nyawira Wangari Kariuki.

Police also want Axis Logistics Limited directors Stuart Heard Gerald, Robert Murithi, Kuria, Kariuki and Gemtal Limiuted to appear at DCI Headquarters tomorrow.

Those under Wow Beverages include Muriithi, Kuria, Kariuki, Gerald and Directors of SICPA Kenya Limited.

Police believe Kariuki is in Zambia where he has been since end of January after he visited there for business interests.

Another official said police may resort to seeking the help of Interpol to get him back to the country for questioning.

His local associates are said to be seeking legal advise from various lawyers on the way forward. Also wanted are two of his managers who are in hiding.

Kariuki has business interests in East and Central Africa.

Kinoti said they had launched hunt on suspicion of evading taxes and forgery.

Kariuki's Thika-based Africa Spirits Ltd plant was raided by police who found smuggled ethanol, 312,000 litres of illicit liquor and 21 million fake Kenya Revenue Authority stamps.

Some of the popular brands produced by the plant include Bluemoon vodka, Legend brandy and Glen Rock whisky.

Through its subsidiary — Wines of the World Beverages — the firm also imports and distributes leading brands of wines and premium whisky from North America and Europe that include Zappa, Bacardi and Southern Comfort.

Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner of Intelligence and Strategic Operations Githii Mburu, said the plant has not been remitting Sh3 billion in taxes every month.

Those in the team included Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and DCI head George Kinoti. “We found about 21 million counterfeit stamps at the factory. That means the commission would have lost Sh1.2 billion. In one production shift, the amount of tax lost is about Sh93 million,” Mr Githii said.

The government gets about Sh200 in tax from a litre of ethanol, the main ingredient of alcoholic beverages.

Githii added that for every 20,000 litres of smuggled ethanol, the government loses about Sh4 million.

Police first raided the factory on February 1 and confiscated the items. Three workers were then arrested as others escaped. Those nabbed were presented in court.

Kinoti said investigations into how smuggling of ethanol from Tanzania has been taking place are ongoing and ordered a chemical analysis of the product.

He warned all government agencies that have been supervising operations of the factory over the years would be held accountable when investigations are complete.

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Tycoon Humphrey Kariukitax evasionforgeryAfrica Spirit LimitedWow Beverages