The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) allegedly altered the wording of a court order that was served to KCB and National Bank of Kenya (NBK) to freeze the accounts of nine companies linked to tycoon Humphrey Kariuki.
This is according to Mr Kariuki’s lawyers, who told High Court Judge Luka Kimaru that the word “preserve” accounts was inserted while extracting an order granted by a Kiambu Court on August 16, 2019.
Africa Spirits Limited (ASL), told Justice Luka Kimaru that the word “preserve” accounts was inserted while extracting an order granted by a Kiambu court on August 16, 2019 that was prosecuted by a State prosecutor.
Through lawyer Cecil Miller, it said the DPP had sought an order to investigate the accounts of the nine companies, some of which have not been charged over tax evasion.
Immediately the order was signed, it was served to Kenya Commercial Commercial Bank (KCB) and the National Bank of Kenya (NBK). “The accounts were frozen immediately thereby exposing the livelihoods of over 3,000 employees…operations were grounded and now faced with imminent closure,” Mr Miller said.
The defence team reckons that the decision to charge the alleged tax defaulters was taken too far as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has other mechanisms of resolving tax matters. “Under the law only Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers are supposed to investigate tax evasion claims and not the police,” Mr Miller told the judge. He said the DPP abused his powers when he investigated the accounts of the nine companies which are issued with Pin tax numbers at the registration point.
The affected firms include Wow Beverages, Dalbit Petroleum, Rhine Hart, Section Investments, Janus Continental Group, Belgravia Construction, Azalea Holdings and Kisima Management Company Limited.
“Only KRA officers can investigate tax claims and not the police. The DPP abused his powers in filing the criminal case when KRA had not exhausted its avenues to recover the alleged unpaid tax,” Justice Kimaru heard.
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