Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti was on Thursday shocked after learning Nairobi billionaire Humphrey Kariuki is a citizen of Cyprus.
The information emerged after Kariuki heeded police summons in a case where he is wanted over tax evasion and dealing with counterfeit alcohol.
Kinoti had last week led a raid on Kariuki’s factory in Thika where African Spirits Limited manufactures some popular alcoholic brands including Bluemoon and Legend.
The DCI was however, not aware of the tycoon’s dual citizenship that will further complicate the investigation into allegations of tax evasions in various firms associated with the businessman.
Dual Citizenship in Kenya
Kenyan law permits dual citizenship but those who hold such status are compelled by the law to make the declaration to local immigration authorities.
Kinoti told the Nation that they would add a charge of failing to declare dual nationality in addition to their existing investigations on tax evasion.
“We are questioning him on that issue since failure to declare dual citizenship is an offence,” the DCI boss said.
A person who fail to do so is said to have, “committed an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both”.
Cyprus citizenship for Investors
Cyprus is one of the countries that has a flexible citizenship path for investors – only requiring an investment of Sh226 million after which the document is processed in three months.
The Cypriot passport allows one to travel visa-free to 173 countries and territories (16th most powerful visa in the world), compared to the Kenyan one where one can travel to about 72 countries (71st most powerful in the world) without applying for a visa.
Kariuki’s business empire includes the luxurious Mt Kenya Safari Club, the Hub Karen Mall, Dalbit Petroleum, among others.