Hunt for tycoon shifts to South Africa

A billionaire wanted on claims of Sh41 billion tax evasion was last seen in South Africa before heading to Mozambique where he has business interests. Sources close to reclusive tycoon Humphrey Kariuki (pictured) said he was in Johannesburg last Thursday and was to travel to Maputo. He is said to have indicated that he would make a stopover at Lusaka, Zambia before heading to Dubai. Lawyers close to him say the businessman, traveling using a Cyprus passport, has scaled down his operations in Kenya. “He has moved to Southern Africa, where he is a big name. He has vast interests in Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola and DRC,” the lawyer said. The State is seeking to seize Kariuki’s 5-star hotel, a multi-million shilling mall, private planes, 89 vehicles and bank accounts of 31 firms linked to him. Also being sought are 14 directors of the firms associated with the billionaire. A search warrant was granted by a Milimani law court for detectives to search places, buildings, ships, air crafts, vehicles, bank accounts and companies that Kariuki has a share in following an application by Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. The court also allowed detectives to seize, detain and freeze any property in respect to the search warrant. However, nothing has been seized so far. On Saturday, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), led by Economic Crime Unit boss Michael Sang, went to Mt Kenya Safari Club in search of some of Kariuki’s assets. Detectives found an empty hangar and a small aircraft with Kenyan registration. They also found an old model Toyota Land Cruiser VX. Two private jets said to belong to the tycoon were missing. The assets the State wants to seize include the 5-Star Fairmount Mt Kenya Safari Club, shareholding and management firms running The Hub in Karen, Africa Wine Spirits, Wow Beverages limited and Dalbit Petroleum Ltd. Wow Beverages limited, whose listed directors are Humphrey Kariuki Thinji and Stuart Gerard Herd, has 30 vehicles on the radar of detectives. The State also wants to seize nine vehicles and three motorcycles linked to Dalbit Petroleum, whose directors are Kariuki and Margaret Karimi Mbaka. Africa Wine Spirits has eight vehicles and 13 motorcycles, Woodwork Properties Ltd has five cars and is linked to Nyawira Kariuki. Rine Heart limited, whose directors are Matheka Oscar Musyoka and Kepha Githu Gakure has five vehicles on the detectives’ […]

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