Keroche Billionaire Speaks Out After DPP Issues Arrest Warrant

  • Keroche Brewery magnate, Tabitha Karanja, on Wednesday evening, broke her silence since after DPP Noordin Haji issued an arrest warrant against her.

    In a statement, the billionaire denied claims that she participated in tax evasion, amounting to Ksh14.4 Billion, associated with her company.

    She also stated that she had received the news from social and mainstream media and that she was yet to receive official communication from the office of the DPP.

    Tabitha Karanja (left) and Joseph Karanja while launching a new beer in July 2019.

    "To this point, I have not received any official communication from his office nor any earlier investigation from the office of the DPP pertaining to this matter. I have never seen any investigation officers in our brewery at any given time in Keroche's lifetime.

    "It is such a gross violation, harassment and intimidation by such a high office in our beloved country that as a local investor who has tirelessly worked to contribute positively to the growth and development of our economy and inspire many other local investors," read part of the statement.

    "We are deeply shocked beyond imagination by both the allegations made and the manner at which the matter has been handled from the dissemination of the information.

    "Is it criminal for local investors to do business in their own motherland?" posed Karanja

    She further denied that she was locked in a major contention with KRA and the only outstanding dispute involved an applicable rate one of their products, Viena Ice ready to drink vodka. The matter is still ongoing at tax appeals tribunal.

    This response comes a few hours after DPP Noordin Haji ordered for the arrest of the two Keroche bosses.

    The inquiry relates to the alleged failure to pay taxes amounting to Ksh14.4 Billion on various products manufactured and sold by Keroche Breweries Limited during the period of January 2015 to June 2019.

    "The audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) established that Keroche Breweries Limited had evaded the payment of tax totaling 14,451,836,375," read a part of the statement by the DPP.

    Haji noted that the company avoided paying, Value Added Tax (VAT) on products including; Stamps Allocated (Ksh329 million), Crescent Vodka  (Ksh135 million), Vienna Ice-Quantity Variance  (Ksh1.7Billion) Vienna Ice-Rate Variance (Ksh9 billion), and summit beers at Ksh658 million, coming to a total of Ksh12 billion.

    The arrest order comes in the backdrop of the recent arraignment of businessman Humphrey Kariuki and members of his board of directors over claims of tax evasion.

    Below is the statement issued by Karanja: