DCI Has No Power To Investigate Tax Frauds – Kiambu High Court Rules In Humphrey Kariuki’s Case

Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki – Court quashes orders to probe Humphrey Kariuki accounts over tax evasion

High Court judge Justice Luka Kimaru has faulted the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti for over-reaching himself and going beyond his mandate in billionaire Humphrey Kariuki’s case.

According to Justice Kimaru, DCI Kinoti has taken over the tax investigations which was a case to be handled by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

“The DCI has overreached himself by involving himself in tax investigations,” Justice Kimaru ruled.

Following the ruling, Justice Kimaru also revoked the ruling that allowed the DCI to freeze the accounts of Africa Spirits Limited at the Kenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya.

While upholding the case by Mr Miller, Justice Luka Kimaru said the DCI usurped the role of statutory bodies charged with the responsibility of pursuing alleged tax evaders and asset recovery when he froze the companies’ accounts.

Mr Kimaru quashed the freeze orders, thereby allowing the companies to proceed with their business of manufacturing alcohol.
He noted that the law is clear on the role of the DCI and the tax regime.

The company accounts belonging to the tycoon together with eight others investigated in the Sh41 billion tax evasion case had been ordered to be frozen by a Kiambu court.

Justice Kimaru ruled that the court only allowed for the accounts to be investigated and not frozen.

In reference to the Kiambu Court  ruling the High Court Judge called upon the Kiambu court to substantiate on their ruling and come correct on their records.

Cecil Miller, the lawyer representing Humphrey’s Africa Spirits Limited Company told the court that the company learnt of their frozen accounts after attempts to access their funds.

The ruling by the High Court comes as a huge blow to the DCI in relation to the investigations with the tax evasion case.

“It is evident that there is an element of jurisdictional overreach by the DCI on matters which are statutorily under the jurisdiction of Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) and KRA,” said the judge.

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