Nakuru Senator Given 45 Days to Settle KSh 14.5 Billion Tax Evasion Case or Face Trial

Nakuru Senator and Keroche Breweries CEO, Tabitha Karanja, is facing ten charges of tax evasion amounting to KSh 14.5 billion, according to the prosecution. The charge sheet has been amended, and Karanja must plead to 10 charges afresh. The accused has been given 45 days by the court to reach an out-of-court settlement with Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner. Failure to reach a settlement would result in the matter proceeding to court.

The charges against Karanja include under-declaring the excise duty of 820,601 litres of Viena Ice drink at KSh 27 instead of KSh 175. She is also accused of misapplication of excise duty rates on Vienna Ice by using KSh 27.06 instead of KSh 175, which reduced the excise duty liability by KSh 1,855,403,900 payable to the Commissioner as required by the Excise Duty Act No. 23 of 2015, Laws of Kenya.

Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu has ruled that should the Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism fail, the trial will continue on July 27, 2023. The court has warned that it will not grant further adjournments to the case. “The State intends to call five witnesses among them four from Kenya Revenue Authority,” the prosecutor told the court.

The defense has requested some time for an out-of-court settlement with the Kenya Revenue Authority, which the court has granted. However, if an agreement is not reached within the given 45 days, the trial will proceed on July 27, 2023. Electronic certificates in the form of documents that the defense requested have yet to be supplied to them.

Karanja, who was elected as a senator on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket in the August 9, 2022 General Election, is facing serious charges that could result in significant consequences. The case has garnered significant attention from the public, and the outcome of the out-of-court settlement could be a critical turning point in the case.

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