Police launch manhunt for city billionaire

He went into hiding shortly after a raid at his premises

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti during the raid at Africa Spirits Ltd in Thika on February 8, 2019

DCI operatives have launched a manhunt for Humphrey Kariuki, the owner of Africa Spirits Company who is at the center of a tax evasion scandal and manufacturing of

A raid conducted at the Thika based company led by IG Joseph Boinnet, DCI director George Kinoti and KRA officials exposed what is turning out to be one of the worst scandals in Kenya’s corporate sector which placed the lives of millions in danger.

Reports indicate that Mr Kariuki and his senior employees went into hiding soon after the raid, leaving junior employees who were arrested but were later released.

IG Boinet confirmed that one of the managers at the facility who was arrested has been detained for seven days to allow for investigations.

During the raid, police found smuggled ethanol, 312,000 litres of illicit liquor and 21 million fake Kenya Revenue Authority stamps.

Smuggling ethanol and manufaturing fake products

According to the police, "The plant made fake products that may have destroyed the health of thousands of Kenyans".

DCI Kinoti divulged that investigations have been launched to establish how the businessman has been smuggling ethanol from Tanzania and evading taxes for the same.

“We want to establish the exact components used in making the concentrates, their sources as well as quantities,” ordered Kinoti.

Some of the popular brands produced at the plant include Bluemoon vodka, Legend brandy and Glen Rock whisky.

The firm also imports and distributes leading brands of wines and premium whisky from North America and Europe including Zappa, Bacardi and Southern Comfort through its subsidiary- Wines of the World Beverages.

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