Wanted billionaire Humphrey Kariuki finally appeared in court on Monday morning weeks after the court issued summons against him.
Appearing before Magistrate Francis Andayi, the billionaire was charged with evading taxes amounting to Ksh41 billion between 2014 and 2019.
He was charged alongside Stuart Geraid, Simon Maundu, Africa Spirits Limited, and Wow Beverages Limited.
However, they all denied the charges pending their release on bail.
After denying the charges, a Magistrate’s court at the Milimani Law Courts ordered him to either pay Sh11 million or bond of Sh20 million to secure his freedom.
He is also required to deposit his two passports as a guarantee that he will remain in the country during the period of his trial.
The court also directed the businessman to present himself at DCI headquarters for formal processing.
Kariuki had been summoned in court on August 9 after he failed to appear in court to face the charges.
An extensive search for the billionaire led the detectives to trace him in London after it emerged that he flew there from South Africa.
It has been alleged that he was likely headed to the European Island Republic of Cyprus where he is a citizen.
Through his lawyer, Kioko Kilukumi, Kariuki told the court that he returned to the country on Sunday night just a day before the court appearance.
While applying to have his client granted bail, Kilukumi refuted claims that Kariuki had gone into hiding, insisting that he is not a flight risk.
“There were no warrant of arrest either local or international issues against him,” Kilikumi argued.
DPP Noordin Haji had approved tax evasion charges against the businessman after an audit by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) allegedly revealed that his company Africa Spirits Limited/WOW Beverages Limited had evaded the payment of tax amounting to Ksh.41,539,038,448 between 2014-2019.
Kariuki’s lawyer had previously informed the court that the businessman was out of the jurisdiction and therefore unable to attend court proceedings.