A police officer attached to Thika Police Station and a Bachelor of Architecture student at Kenyatta University were on Tuesday, January 7, arraigned for allegedly breaking into businessman Humphrey Kariuki’s alcohol plant in Thika and destroying several litres of suspected illicit alcoholic drinks.
The destroyed alcohol valued at Ksh3 million was part of evidence to be used against Kariuki after 312, 000 thousand litres of suspected illicit alcohol was found in the plant in February 2019.
The suspects — Anastasia Wanjiru Muchungu and Ben Kamau Kamande — allegedly illegally accessed the plant, which was still cordoned off as a scene of crime, on diverse dates between November 15, 2019 and January 4, 2020. The two were allegedly in the company of other accomplices who were not before court.
Wanjiru and Kamande are accused of stealing assorted brands of alcohol from Kariuki’s plant — African Spirits Limited in Thika West Sub-County, Kiambu County. The stolen property was to be used as evidence against Kariuki at the Milimani Law Courts, Senior Resident Magistrate Oscar Wanyanga was told.
“The two stole and destroyed the assorted wines and spirits with the objective of preventing the products from being produced in court as evidence against the businessman on January 4, 2020,” the prosecution said.
Furaha Vodka was among the products allegedly stolen from Kariuki’s plant.
The two, who denied the allegations, are set to know their bail terms Tuesday afternoon.
In September last year, an Administration Police officer assigned the task of guarding Kariuki’s premises died under mysterious circumstances.
The officer is said to have “slipped from a spiral metallic staircase and fatally injured himself”.
In February 2019, police recovered 21 million counterfeit KRA stamps with an estimated tax potential of Ksh1.2 billion at Kariuki’s alcohol firm. Also recovered, were 312, 000 litres of ethanol suspected to be illicit.
Armed police officers were, thereafter, assigned the task of keeping guard at Kariuki’s alcohol plant that manufactures, among others, Blue Moon Vodka, Legend Brandy and Furaha Gin.
On August 19, 2020, Kariuki was charged with nine tax evasion offences between 2014 and 2019 amounting to Ksh41 billion.
Kariuki denied the charges.