Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki on Wednesday, December 7, received back control of his company which had been taken over by the government for three years.
In a handover witnessed by the taxman, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) handed over the operations of Africa Spirits Limited to Kariuki.
The authority announced that the Thika-based distiller was officially opened and would facilitate its operationalisation.
An undated photo of Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa
“The reopening aligns with the need for economic development and independence by maximizing revenue collection,” the taxman stated.
Notably, the return of the company to the billionaire came days after he wrote a letter demanding that the agencies vacate his premises.
Through law firm B.M. Musyoki & Co Advocates, the billionaire argued that the state agencies were illegally running the alcohol plant since they had failed to contest an order directing them to revert back operations to him.
“Our client has suffered and continues to suffer grave harm, loss and damage due to your acts of wrongful seizure, unlawful detention and illegal occupation of his facilities,” his lawyers stated.
Kariuki lost the firm in 2019 when he was accused of committing tax evasion to the tune of Ksh17 billion.
This is the second reprieve of the billionaire in a newly found purple patch. On December 1, President William Ruto appointed him to his government.
He was picked as one of the 12 members of the National Investment Council for a three-year term, serving alongside David Langat.
Other members include Ahmed Farah, Karen Taylor, Sarah Ochieng, Eva Warigia, Sheila Kyarisiima, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Paul Russo, Tom Mulwa, Peter Njonjo, and Francis Njogu.
At the same time, Ruto appointed another billionaire, Mary Wambui as the Chair of the Board of the Communications Authority of Kenya.
A photo of President William Ruto and Businesswoman Mary Wambui Mungai at State House, Nairobi.
alcohol illegal tax evasion