A Nairobi tycoon has fled to Lusaka, Zambia to evade arrest over an alleged Sh3 billion tax evasion.
Humphrey Kariuki had sought refuge in Lusaka after it emerged from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) that he has not remitted Sh3 billion in taxes. Detectives believe the businessman may have gotten wind of their pursuit and chose not to return home to answer to the charges on tax evasion and fraud.
DCI boss George Kinoti urged Kariuki to return home and surrender himself to authorities for questioning.
“We suspect he is stuck there and looking for a way to safely return. Tell him he is wanted for questioning,” he said.
Kinoti confirmed the process to extradite Kariuki to face charges of mass production of harmful brews and causing death are under way.
“He can hide for years, but let him know we are determined to have him back to face the charges. We are on his trail 24 hours a day. We can’t allow him to use his wealth to destroy the lives of Kenyans,” Kinoti said.
The move comes even as Kariuki’s close associates are reportedly seeking legal advice from various prominent lawyers at his instruction on the way out of the muddle.
Kariuki is said to have massive investments in liquor business and also imports leading global brands, including Zappa, Bacardi and Southern Comfort. Those produced in his Thika-based Africa Spirits Ltd are Bluemoon, Legend brandy and Glen Rock whisky.
Last week, detectives found smuggled ethanol and some 312,000 litres of illicit liquor as well as 21 million fake KRA stamps which would have seen the government lose Sh1.2 billion.
Kinoti and KRA officials led the 11am raid at Africa Spirits Ltd in Thika town in Kiambu county and arrested the production manager.
Kariuki, a reclusive and astute businessman has built his business empire Janus Continental Group, one of East Africa’s largest conglomerates.
Always known to avoid public limelight, Kariuki’s business empire includes;The Hub—a premier shopping mall located in Karen; Africa Spirits, currently embroiled in a controversy with authorities over the manufacture of alcoholic and beverages; Dalbit Petroleum, one of the largest oil distributors in East and Southern Africa; and the Great Lakes Africa Energy, a UK-based company that develops and operates power projects in Southern Africa.
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