In Summary
  • Mr Haji has ordered the two to be presented in court to answer to 10 counts of tax fraud committed between January 2015 and June 2019.

  • By 7pm detectives were still waiting to enter the brewery’s gates in Naivasha which had been locked at the time they arrived.

Police were Wednesday evening looking for alcohol giant Keroche Industries Ltd owners Tabitha Karanja and her husband Joseph Karanja after Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered their arrest over tax evasion amounting to more than Sh14 billion.

By 7pm detectives were still waiting to enter the brewery’s gates in Naivasha which had been locked at the time they arrived. It was not immediately clear whether the alcohol industry tycoons were at the factory, as another set of detectives was dispatched to their house in Nairobi’s Runda estate.

TAX FRAUD

Mr Haji has ordered the two to be presented in court to answer to 10 counts of tax fraud committed between January 2015 and June 2019.

In a statement released last evening, The DPP said there is sufficient evidence to charge the suspects in court after reviewing an inquiry file presented to his office by the Commissioner-General of Kenya Revenue Authority.

“An audit by the authority established that Keroche Breweries Ltd had evaded the payment of tax totalling to Sh14,451,836,375. Having independently reviewed the file and applying the provisions of the 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, contrary to section 97 (a) of the Tax Procedures Act, 2015,” he said.

The amount is comprised of unpaid VAT and excise duty for Keroche’s Crescent Vodka, its Viena Ice vodka variants and the popular Summit beer.

The charges on Keroche proprietors come a week after the arrest and prosecution of billionaire Humphrey Kariuki and seven others over tax evasion charges at the Thika-based Africa Spirits Ltd and Wow Beverages Ltd.

Mr Kariuki, in a statement on Monday, claimed that his battles with KRA are being fuelled by jealous people who are hell bent on tarnishing his character and reputation through offences that are strange to him.

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