Thika-based Africa Spirits Limited plant has filed an application seeking to set aside orders issued by a Kiambu court through miscellaneous application freezing its bank accounts for 90 days.
The court froze the accounts to allow the police conclude investigations on alleged tax evasion by the company.
The alcohol maker argued that the orders were obtained through the abuse of legal process, by misrepresentation and non-disclosure of material facts.
The company’s accounts at National Bank and Kenya Commercial bank were frozen after prosecution sought to have the funds in the accounts preserved, pending conclusion of investigations of tax evasion, running into billions of shillings.
In documents filed in court, the company says that the order freezing the accounts have rendered them unable to comply with another orders issued by Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, which directed the company’s directors to deposit Sh11 million in court after denying charges of tax evasion.
“Unless the orders issues in Kiambu magistrate court misc. Criminal application Number 367 of 2019 preserving bank accounts of affected parties for 90 days are immediately stayed, affected persons, who are operational business and companies are likely to shut down their operations, default on their monthly statutory obligations such as NHIF, NSSF, PAYE, VAT etc all which will attract penalties and default in paying their workers and creditors, causing them grave suffering, harm and loss”, reads part of the application.
The company added that warrants issued in Kiambu court were illegal and unlawful as the magistrate had no jurisdiction to issue an order for preservation of the funds.
They also claim that the application by the DPP was an abuse of the court and legal process.
The firm further claim that the prosecution deliberately misled the court that they are investigating offences of failure to pay taxes, being in possession of customised goods and being in possession of counterfeit stamps, yet the same were made at the time of making allegation relation to three cases pending before Milimani chief magistrate.
“If the orders are not immediately stayed and set aside, they will certainly cause grave harm, loss and dame to the companies, indignity of their employees, suppliers and creditors will suffer,” claims the company.
Three employees of Africa Spirits limited employees are facing 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.