Keroche CEO makes her stand clear on tax fraud claims
Keroche Breweries billionaire, Tabitha Karanja has termed the order for her arrest over tax evasion by DPP Noordin Haji as harassment and intimidation.
This after Haji issued the order for the arrest for the Keroche Breweries boss and her husband Joseph Karanja for allegedly failing to pay Excise Duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on its various products including Crescent Vodka, Viena Ice and Summit beers as well as duty stamps all amounting to Sh14.45 billion since 2015.
In a statement from Keroche Breweries on alleged tax fraud offences, Mrs Karanja said she learnt about the arrest on social media.
“It’s a surprise that I have received a letter circulating on social media and other mainstream media platforms allegedly from the office of the Director of Public prosecution – Mr Noordin Hadji claiming that Keroche Breweries is involved with a tax fraud amounting to a colossal Sh14 billion,” she said.
Tabitha went on to state that she has not yet received any official communication from the DPP nor was there any investigations.
“To this point I have not received any formal communication from his office nor any earlier investigation from the office of the DPP pertaining to this matter. I have never seen any investigations office in our brewery at any given time in Keroche’s lifetime,” she further said.
She went on to state that the only dispute between Keroche and KRA is on the application rate on their Vienna Ice ready to drink vodka which is a matter that is ongoing at the tax appeal tribunal and an institution constituted under the law to look into the matter.
“It is not in good faith for the office of the DPP to purport to prosecute a matter that is still under determination undermining an institution obligated to handle such matters,” she added.
“As a local company we have gone through numerous challenges as a result of which mostly has been castigated by our competitors and its my plea as a home grown investor to be supported for our tireless efforts in building a Kenyan story of self-determination, resilience and a belief in ourselves,” she said.
Mrs Karanja further urged the DPP to avoid being misled and to first get his facts right about the matter.
“There’s nowhere documented in the world where you can build a business having complied all through and still be subjected to such embarrassment and intimidation,” she added.