Keroche breweries directors arrested over tax evasion

Written By: KBC Correspondent
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Tabitha Karanja (Photo by Silas Mwiti)
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The CEO and chairman of Keroche Breweries Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Muigai Karanja have been arrested by CID officers in their Naivasha offices after a night of drama.

The two were later driven to DCI headquarters in Nairobi after spending the night in their offices to avoid arrest following an order by the DPP to arrest them over tax evasion.

Minutes before the arrest, Naivasha Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali had issued a warrant of search and arrest for the entrepreneurs who remained locked in their offices.

But once the order was served, the two walked from their officers as the company distributors who had arrived in the beer factory hours earlier cheered them.

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Also arrested during the raid were two security managers from the company and were taken to Naivasha police station awaiting to be arraigned in court.

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Naivasha DCIO Kennedy Njoroge confirmed the arrest of the two managers adding that they would be charged with obstruction.

“The Karanja’s have been taken to Nairobi while the two security managers are in Naivasha and will be charged with obstructing arrests of suspects,” he said.

Speaking on phone, Mr Karanja who is the company’s chairman said that he was a law abiding citizen and was ready to face any charges against him.

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Karanja who recently returned to the country after a one month treatment in the UK exuded confidence that it was a matter of time before the real truth would be known.

“This is not about tax but about our recently launched products but the truth shall set us free as we have not defaulted in tax as alleged,” he said.

On Wednesday, the DPP Noordin Haji issued orders to arrest the couple of failing to remit tax running into Sh14B from 2015 an allegation the company has denied.

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The DPP noted that investigations revealed that the company evaded paying Sh12.34 billion Value Added Tax (VAT), Sh329.4 million for stamps and Sh135.4 million for Crescent Vodka among other products.

The forfeited payments on products include Vienna Ice- Quantity Variance Sh1.7B, Vienna Ice- Rate Variance Sh9B, and summit beers at Sh658m, Mr Haji said.

In terms of Excise duty, the DPP claimed Keroche owes the taxman Sh41m in stamps, Sh55m on Crescent Vodka, Sh233m on Vienna Ice with quantity variance and Sh1.5B with rate variance.

Summit beers are also short on monies worth Sh250 million, according to Haji.

 

 

 

 

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