High Court has dealt a blow to the State in a tax evasion case against tycoon Humphrey Kariuki after quashing order freezing his firm’s bank accounts.
Justice Luka Kimaru on Monday faulted the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for taking on tax investigations, a role reserved for the Kenya Revenue Authority.
“The DCI has overreached himself by involving himself in tax investigations,” Justice Kimaru ruled.
Justice Kimaru also quashed an order allowing the DCI to freeze the accounts of Africa Spirits Limited at the Kenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya.
The orders to freeze the firm’s bank accounts and eight others had been issued by a Kiambu Court in relation to the ongoing Sh41 billion tax evasion case.
Justice Kimaru said the court only allowed the accounts to be investigated, not frozen.
The judge noted that the order extracted by the police was different from the one prayed for by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The judge also called for the Kiambu Magistrates Court to establish the correctness of the record.
Africa Spirits Ltd learned of the freeze orders when it sought to access funds.
The firm’s lawyer, Cecil Miller, had urged the judge to call for the records in the case.