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Keroche bosses released on bail

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Keroche bosses released on bail

Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja (right) and her husband Joseph Karanja leave court at the Milimani Law Court on August 23, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG 

Directors of Keroche Industries Ltd were on Friday released on cash bail after denying 10 counts relating to tax fraud.

A Nairobi court ordered Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja to pay Sh10 million cash bail and her husband Joseph, who is the chairman of the beer company, Sh5 million.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered them to deposit Sh15 million in seven days failing which directors apart from the chairman will be arrested.

In his ruling, Mr Andayi granted Mr Karanja different bond terms because he is a senior citizen.

The prosecution through Alexander Muteti and Catherine Mwaniki were not opposed to the suspects release on bond but they wanted the magistrate to direct them to deposit their passports in court.

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The defendants’ lawyer James Orengo opposed the request arguing that his clients cannot flee the country because they have invested heavily in Naivasha.

He added that the prosecution had not showed any evidence that the suspects will not abide by the bond terms.

The case will be mentioned on September 2.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji Wednesday ordered their arrest and arraignment to answer to charges of tax fraud committed between January 2015 and June 2019.

Mrs Karanja accused the taxman of selective and unfair targeting, arguing that she has always followed the law and was shocked to be accused of tax evasion when the matters were still under a tax tribunal.

“There is nowhere in the world where you can build a business having complied all through and still be subjected to such embarrassment and intimidation,” Mrs Karanja said.

“We are deeply shocked by both the allegations and the manner in which the matter has been handled. My shock is how a local investor can be humiliated, embarrassed and denied well-deserved respect,” said Mrs Karanja.



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