BY SAM ALFAN.
Three employees of Africa Spirits limited employees have been charged with tax evasion worth over Sh40 billion.
Peter Njenga, Robert Muriithi and Kepha Githu appeared in court and denied the charges before chief magistrate Francis Andayi.
Other accused persons led by Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa, Stuart Gerald Herd, Geoffrey Kaaria Githinji and Simon Maundu, are still at large.
The accused persons together with African Spirits Limited and Wow Beverages limited are accused several charges among them evading tax, six counts of fraud in relation to tax, two counts of aiding commission of a tax offence.
In the second file, the eight accused persons face charges of being in possession of unaccustomed goods values at Sh7.4 million and conspiring to defraud the government of Kenya tax of Sh5.7 million.
The last file contains charges of being in possession of 12 reels of counterfeit excise stamps, five counts of aiding commission of a tax offence, four counts of being in possession of excisable goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps.
The prosecution prayed stringent bond terms on grounds that the offences are serious and carry hefty fines. They also requested the court to order the accused persons to deposit their passports in court.
Lawyers for the accused persons Edward Oonge, K.M Mwangi asked the court to be lenient while issuing bond terms sating that their clients have not been at work since February when the company was shut down.
The magistrate granted the accused persons a cash bail of Sh11 million in all the three files. (10 m, 500,000 and 500,000).
The court also issued summons against the suspects who did not appear in court to answer to the charges with the exception of Geoffrey Kaaria Githinji. This was after the court was informed that he had obtained an order from the high court preventing his arrest.
The matter will be mentioned on August 19 and a pre-trial will be conducted on September 5, 2019.
The said the prosecution should supply all the documents before the pre-trial.