Court freezes billionaire Humphrey Kariuki’s bank accounts

Humphrey Kariuki (PHOTO: FILE)
A Nairobi court has once again ordered the freezing of bank accounts belonging to wanted businessperson Humphrey Kariuki.

Kenyan authorities want the tycoon over Sh41 billion tax evasion scheme.

A Kenya Revenue Authority audit revealed by the director of public prosecution Noordin Haji indicates that Africa Spirits/WOW beverages in which Mr Kariuki is a director had evaded tax payment of over Sh41 billion between the period of 2014 and 2019.

“In addition, the audit revealed that there was evidence of tampering with the production system at the Africa Spirits factory that led to the submission of false declaration to KRA,” he adds.

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Haji early this month directed Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti to arrest Kariuki and eight other people, including directors of Africa Spirits Ltd and WOW Beverages Ltd.

Haji detailed seven charges against the suspects, including failure to pay tax, forgery, and being in possession of uncustomed goods.

The order to freeze Mr Kariuki’s accounts is not new coming barely three months after High Court in May lifted two months order, which locked the tycoon from accessing his bank accounts.

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Similar orders to freeze Mr Kariuki’s accounts were made on March 24.

Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) sought to freeze his four accounts held in Kenya Commercial Bank for 30 days in a bid to assess tax he had allegedly evaded, but remained silent on whether it had done it or not.

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The judge observed that during the hearing, KRA, in its bid to seek an extension of the orders, told the judge a third party was conducting the investigation. It did not disclose who the party was.

The businessman went to court a month after his liquor firms were closed down and the companies’ accounts frozen over a Sh3 billion tax evasion claim.

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Humphrey KariukiKenya Revenue AuthorityNoordin Haji