Kenyan tycoon Humphrey Kariuki goes on the run over tax evasion to the tune of $410 million and Kenya wants Interpol to arrest him

Humphrey Kariuki
  • On Thursday, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti told Capital FM News that he will be seeking Interpol’s help in arresting the billionaire businessman who is out of the country. 
  • Kinoti wants Interpol to arrest and detain Kariuki wherever he is found, with the activation of a Red Notice at airports across the world.
  • Humphrey Kariuki, who holds dual citizenship from Cyprus, is the owner of Africa Spirits and Wines of the World.

A Kenyan tycoon is wanted by Kenyan authorities over tax evasion charges running into billions of shillings.

On Thursday, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti told Capital FM News that he will be seeking Interpol’s help in arresting the billionaire businessman who is out of the country. 

“I am applying for an international warrant of arrest for Humphrey Kariuki through Interpol for him to be arrested and detained anywhere in the world including all airports,” Kinoti said.

In the warrant, Kinoti wants Interpol to arrest and detain Kariuki wherever he is found, with the activation of a Red Notice at airports across the world.

Humphrey Kariuki, who holds dual citizenship from Cyprus, is the owner of Africa Spirits and Wines of the World. He is wanted in Kenya to face charges of evading to pay Sh41 billion ($410 million) in taxes through his businesses.

Kariuki is to be prosecuted alongside three directors of WoW Beverages Limited, four others from Africa Spirits Limited and a driver said to be an accomplice.

His accomplices include Stuart Gerald Herd (Director, WOW Beverages Limited), Peter Njenga Kuria (Director, Africa Spirits Limited), Robert Thinji Muriithi (Director, WOW Beverages Limited), Geoffrey Kaaria (Director, Africa Spirits Limited), Sethu Prabhu (Assistant Production Manager, Africa Spirits Limited), Eric Nzomba (Driver), and Kepha Githu Gakure (Tax Manager, Africa Spirits Limited/WoW Beverages Limited).

The alleged tax evasion offences were committed between 2014 and this year, according to the DPP, who want them arraigned in court with various counts—including engaging in fraud, failing to pay tax, and being in possession of counterfeit excise stamps.

Charges against him were approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, following an investigation undertaken by the DCI.

The office of the DPP said Mr. Kariuki had been allowed to settle the tax evasion issue out of court with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) but it did not work.

“With regards to non-payment of taxes, some of the parties were given an opportunity to settle the matter with the KRA, but the process was unsuccessful,” the DPP said in a statement issued on Thursday.  

An investigation of the two firms started early this year when the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti led detectives in a major raid at factories located in Thika where over a million bottles of assorted alcoholic drinks and 24,000 counterfeit excise stamps were seized.

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