KRA freezes Humphrey Kariuki’s 11 bank accounts

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Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki. His alcohol factory was raided and shutdown by police. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has obtained orders freezing 11 accounts associated with businessman Humphrey Kariuki over alleged tax evasion amounting to Sh3 billion.

The accounts are scattered in seven banks, including Equity, National Bank of Kenya and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), and are linked to three companies associated with Mr Kariuki.

KRA, through lawyer Kenneth Kirugi, told Justice John Onyiego that preliminary investigations indicated that the companies – Vow Beverages Limited, Wines of the World Ltd and African Spirits Ltd – had evaded tax amounting to Sh3 billion.

Documents filed in court indicated the companies had been supplying excisable goods with counterfeit exercise stamps.

The taxman further alleged the companies had fraudulently denied the agency collection of colossal amounts of tax. Justice Onyiego certified the case as urgent and directed Mr Kirugi to serve the documents to the companies ahead of the hearing on March 8.

He issued orders prohibiting the transfer, withdrawal or disposal or dealing with money in the said accounts, pending hearing and determination of the case.

The taxman said there was a likelihood that the companies may frustrate the recovery of the taxes demanded by withdrawing them, transferring or putting the cash out of the reach of KRA.

The court heard that KRA gave the companies a notice on February 11, which sought the preservation of funds in a number of banks in accordance with section 43 of the Tax Procedures Act.

The agency told the court the companies had engaged in the manufacture and supply of the alcoholic beverages but had failed to prove that it had paid    excise duty for the products.

“KRA has discovered that the respondent has been supplying alcoholic beverages affixed with counterfeit excise stamps, hence denying the agency colossal amounts of revenue,” the court documents state.

SOURCE: NATION