Business tycoon Humphrey Kariuki cleared over tax evasion case

Business tycoon Humphrey Kariuki cleared over tax evasion case

Humphrey Kariuki has been acquitted in the Ksh 7.4 million tax evasion case after the Director of Public Prosecution failed to produce witnesses.

Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot acquitted Mr. Kariuki under Section 202 of the Constitution.

“The prosecution is not ready to present witnesses even after been given three days to do so,this gives me no option other than to invoke the provisions of section 202 of the criminal procedural code,” the Magistrate said as quoted by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

Kariuki was thrust into the limelight in February 2019 after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations raided the premises of Africa Spirits Limited in Thika, a company he owns over tax fraud claims.

This was followed by what appeared to be a cat and mouse chase between the sleuths and the tycoon with the latter presenting himself before the court where he denied the charges and was released on a Ksh.11 million cash bail.

The reclusive billionaire is said to have vast interests in the beverages, energy, real estate and hospitality industries under the Janus Continental Group.

Entities in his stable include Dalbit Petroleum, a fuel distributor and Great Lakes Energy, a company that Forbes reports was awarded a Ksh.40 billion by the Mozambican government for an energy project.

He also holds ownership of the Hub mall in Karen and Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari club in Nanyuki together with Africa Spirits Limited.

On December 3 this year, tax evasion charges against businessman Stuart Gerald who had been charged alongside Mr. Kariuki were also withdrawn.

Stuart – a former director at WOW beverages faced charges of evading taxes of up to Ksh. 17billion.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi discharged Gerald following an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions to withdraw the charges.

Andayi in his ruling directed that the cash bail he deposited in court last year be released to him.

Additional report from Dzuya Walter and Lordrick Mayabi