DPP Noordin Haji links Keroche breweries to Sh14 billion tax fraud

DCI and KRA officers camp outside Keroche Breweries factory in Naivasha after DPP ordered the arrest of Keroche owners Mr and Mrs Karanja
Directors of Keroche Breweries risk jail term following the conclusion of an investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions office linking them and the company to a Sh14 billion tax fraud.

On Wednesday, the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji said he has enough evidence linking Tabitha Mukami Muigai, Joseph Karanja Muigai both directors of Keroche and the company itself to 10 counts of tax fraud contrary to section 97 (a) and (c) of the tax procedures act, 2015

“The audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority established that Keroche had evaded the payment of tax totaling over sh14 billion,” says Noordin Haji in a statement to the newsroom.

“Therefore having independently review the file and applying the provisions of national prosecution policy, I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to charge the suspects with 10 counts of tax fraud,” says Haji.

SEE ALSO :City tycoon fights off link in suspected Sh41b tax fraud

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Mid this month, Kenya Revenue Authority disclosed that it is targeting 600 individuals this year in the war against tax evasion.

The Authority revealed that it prosecuted 222 individuals last year but the figure will go up in 2019 in a step that is also targeting to help the taxman boost its revenue collection.

SEE ALSO :Fate of man who killed father over Sh1,000 to be known

“Last year we took to court 222 individuals, this year we have shifted our focus completely, we want to prosecute 600 individuals.

“We have shifted focus in 2019 and have watertight cases targeting up to 600 individuals, these are cases which are properly investigated and we are sure that we will get over 94 per cent success rate,” KRA said.

“So we won’t take to court if we know that the case is not backed by the law.”

On prosecution, KRA recovered Sh12.6 billion from 210 tax evasion cases won while 222 suspects were persecuted at the law courts leading to the recovery of taxes amounting to Sh12.9 billion.

Early this month, DPP Noordin Haji preferred the arrest of tycoon Humphrey Kariuki (Director WOW beverages) and nine others over Sh41 billion tax arrears.

SEE ALSO :How city billionaire outsmarted the police

Kariuki has already appeared before the court where he was granted Sh10 million cash bail and ordered to surrender his two passports and appear before DCI in six hours.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said early this month he had gathered enough evidence to prosecute Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa and Stuart Gerald (Directors WOW beverages), Peter Njenga Kuria (Director Africa Spirits), Robert Thinji Murithi (Director WOW beverages, Geofrey Kinoti (Director Africa Spirits).

Others to face the seven separate charges include Sethu Prabhu (Assistant production manager Africa Spirits), Eric Nzomba (Driver), Kepha Gakure (Tax manager Africa Spirits).

Besides the tax evasion charges,  the DPP said the seven should be charged with being in possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps, and fraud.

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DPPNoordin HajiTabitha Karanja