Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki responds to claims over his Cyprus passport

Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki responds to claims over his Cyprus passport

Billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki has dismissed reports that his Cypriot Passport has been revoked.

Mr. Ndegwa, in a statement tried to put the rumours into context claiming he had not been singled out but rather, the island nation was reviewing all passports issued in its investment program.

Recently, the Government of Cyprus has made the decision to review all passports issued under the Cyprus Investment Scheme before 2018,” the statement read.

“The audit will be led by an internal committee, set up by the Government, that will be in charge of reviewing these individual passport awards to ensure they met the regulatory requirements for the scheme applicable at the time of approval.”

Cyprus is an island nation in the Eastern Basin of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and the world’s 80th largest island by area.

Exuding confidence that his passport met the requirements adding that he will co-operate with the Government of Cyprus in the process, the businessman also said he would comply with whatever decision.

“While I understand that my passport is part of this audit process, having been granted before 2018, I have no doubt that my application fully complied with the regulatory requirements,” he said.

“As a law-abiding global citizen, I will fully support the mandated process in Cyprus with any requirements or further information needed to undertake the review swiftly.”

The Cyprus Mail, a publication in the island also mentions the businessman and his wife among a list of people whose passports could be revoked with Kariuki being reported to have been involved in a ”financial scam.”

The list of 26 also names other Russian, Chinese, Malaysian and individuals of other nationalities who could lose the much coveted passport which allows the holders to do business in countries in the European Union.

As part of its measures of attracting foreign investments, Cyprus offers citizenship to non-Cypriot citizens who invest over Ksh.30 million in the island.

As part of its Cyprus Investment Programme, one must own residential or other property with a minimum market value of EUR 300,000 plus VAT, purchased in Cyprus.

One must also secure annual income of a minimum of EUR 30,000 from abroad and from sources other than employment in Cyprus or have funds of a minimum of EUR 30,000 transferred from abroad and deposited into a Cyprus bank in a three-year fixed deposit account.

The media shy Kariuki was thrust into the limelight in February after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations raided the premises of Africa Spirits Limited in Thika, a company he owns over a Ksh.41.5 billion 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.