KRA to prosecute Humphrey Kariuki tax evasion case
The Sh17 billion tax evasion case facing businessman Humphrey Kariuki and five others will now be handled by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Thursday told Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi that three officers from KRA have been gazetted to oversee the case.
Sheila Sandra, Peter Mwenda and Irene Muthee will now prosecute the case.
The move by the DPP was strongly opposed with defense counsel led by Kioko Kilukumi and Cecil Miller arguing that the Constitution under Section 157 gives the office of the DPP absolute power to prosecute.
They intend to challenge the move.
Thursday’s proceedings also saw Kariuki, Peter Njenga, Robert Murithi, Geoffrey Kinoti, Kepha Gakure, Simon Maundu, Africa Spirits Limited and Wow Beverages plead afresh to fraud and tax evasion claims.
They were charged afresh after the matter before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi was consolidated with another similar case that was before Martha Mutuku.
In the new charge sheet, Humphrey and his co-accused were charged with failing to pay taxes amounting to Sh17 billion.
This offence was committed in February 2016 and December 2018.
They also faced another count of being in possession of excise stamps acquired without the authority of the commissioner.
It is alleged that between 31 January 2019 and February 7 2019 at Africa Spirits Limited and WOW Beverages Limited within Thika Town in Kiambu County they were jointly found in possession of 894 reels of counterfeit excise stamps acquired without the authority of the commissioner.
They also face another count of being in possession of 1.2 million bottles of assorted alcoholic beverages affixed with counterfeit Excise stamps picked in 41,703 cartons.
According to the charge sheet, Kariuki and team knowingly omitted from the VAT returns of Africa Spirits Limited an amount of Sh2 billion which ought to have been included in the said returns.
And between January and December 2018, they knowingly omitted from the return of excise of Africa Spirits Limited another amount of Sh5 billion which ought to have been included in the said returns.
The case will be heard on May 31.
This article was written by The Star on 16/04/2021.