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Investigations

‪KRA Boss Njiraini Entangled In A Tax Evasion Scam On Undervaluing A Sh2.93 Billion Property Paying Only Sh160 Instead Of Sh29M‬

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Njiraini

Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner-General John Njiraini undervalued a Sh2.93 billion property acquired in Nairobi, denying the taxman millions of shillings in stamp duty after paying only Sh160, documents filed in court claim.

The filings, which effectively allege tax avoidance, indicate that Mr Njiraini paid the amount as stamp duty for a property jointly owned with Kenya Revenue Authority Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees that was bought at a staggering Sh2.93 billion.

In the High Court filings, it is alleged the taxman potentially lost Sh29 million, being one percent of each share that Mr Njiraini — listed as a director and respondent in the case — and KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees acquired.

In transfer documents presented as part of the evidence, Mr Njiraini and the KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees acquired Corporate Business Centre in 2015, a building in Nairobi’s Upper Hill, which currently hosts some of the taxman’s offices.

The acquisition saw Mr Njiraini and the pension scheme replace the original owners and became new shareholders — effectively owning the property and the land it occupies.

The property is registered under Corporate Business Centre Limited. The previous shareholders and directors were Kirankumar Manubhai Patel and Mandip Singh Amrit.

Mr Amrit transferred his one share to Mr Njiraini while Mr Patel transferred his one share to the KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees.

The two shares were valued at Sh100 and, therefore, it is this amount that stamp duty was paid for and not the Sh2.9 billion.

The revelations are contained in a suit filed by Lustman and Company Ltd that was designated as the lead estate agent between Mr Patel and Mr Amrit as directors of Corporate Business Centre Limited and the new directors.

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Lustman Ltd accuses both sides of engaging in fraud by “deliberately avoiding payment of taxes by not declaring the actual purchase price of the suit property by sale of the shares purchased and allotted, failing to disclose the correct and true value of the sale transaction in the shares transfer and failing to pay the requisite stamp duty for the shares transferred”.

Lustman insists that by undervaluing the value of a share capital to Sh100 and not half of Sh2.9 billion amounts to contravention of Section 45 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

Mr Njiraini, KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees and the Corporate Business Centre denied the accusations.

“The defendants deny the particulars of fraud enumerated by Lustman. The defendants were under no legal obligation or contract to disclose to Lustman details of the purchase transactions,” the defence says.

In the suit papers, Lustman further charges that despite having been the lead agent for the transaction, the two sides secretly connived and dropped them from the proceedings when the deal reached the penultimate stage thereby denying the company its commission.

“By an agreement in writing contained in the letters dated 08/08 2014, 12/08/2014 and 14/08/05 2015, Lustman Limited, which is a duly registered estate agent, was requested and agreed to act as the Corporate Business Centre Limited agent in getting and sourcing for a purchaser for its property and the building thereon situated in the upmarket area of Nairobi Upper Hill area … In consideration for a commission of two per cent of the sale price,” Lustman noted.

The agent would have pocketed at least Sh58 million. Lustman further says it dutifully devoted time to search for a buyer before settling on the pension agency.

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But unknown to the agents, the property was acquired through purchase and transfer of shares of the company registered as the owner of the building namely Corporate Business Centre Limited.

“Out of the sale transaction valued at Sh2.93 billion, the defendants failed, refused and have rejected to pay to Lustman Ltd for its services rendered as an estate agent thereby denying it its rightful commission despite being aware that Lustman introduced Mr Njiraini and the KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees to the Corporate Business Centre Ltd after which they bought and had transfer in their favour,” Lustman says.

On December 18, 2015, Corporate Business Centre Ltd directors, Mr Patel and Mr Amrit, held a meeting that resolved to transfer the shareholding to the new owners.

Additional directors appointed on that day include Constantine Kandie, Evans Kaikai, Kimotho M’ Mukindia, Fiona Waithira, Christopher Were, Samuel Tororei and Alfred Maritim.

The property in question is located on Elgon Road, Upper Hill Nairobi. It sits on two acres and has a lease of 99 years from October 1, 1988.

It has 266 parking lots and its initial selling price was Sh1.8 billion as indicated in a letter by Lustman Ltd to KRA in July 2015.

In his defence, Mr Patel said at no time did he and Mr Amrit contact Lustman Ltd as estate agents.

He said the three letters Lustman Ltd mentions that originated from Corporate Business Centre Ltd were not from him or Mr Amrit, and disowns one Morrison Wayaya who had signed the letters on behalf of the property company.

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“All transactions by the Corporate Business Centre over the property and in particular letters and contracts were always signed by both the directors. Further, all the agents were engaged through signed contracts which bore the signatures of both the directors,” Mr Patel swore in his response.

He further states that correspondence between the Corporate Business Centre and KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees was not copied to Lustman Ltd.

“In any event, there was a billboard on site advertising the property for sale and the recommended letting agent on the billboard was Knight Frank. The availability of the building for sale was therefore a matter of public knowledge,” Mr Patel says.

In his defence, Mr Amrit echoes Mr Patel’s stand. Mr Njiraini and the pension scheme trustees said that at no time did they contact Lustman Ltd.

But in their reply to the denials of Mr Patel and Mr Amrit, Lustman Ltd states that Mr Woyaya was the general manger of their property.

The company further indicates that its employees introduced the representatives of Mr Njiraini and those of KRA Staff Pension Scheme Registered Trustees to the offices of Corporate Business Centre in Westlands, Nairobi.

“The claim of there being a billboard by Knight Frank and the issue of public knowledge is therefore not applicable to this suit,” Lustman Limited says. The High court is yet to set the hearing dates for the suit.

via DN.


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Investigations

Missing Links In Monica Kimani’s Murder As Police Struggle To Nail The Biological Identity Of The Killer Admitting Jowie Is A Hard Nut

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Jowie when he appeared in court.

Detectives continue to patch holes in the murder so foul of Monica Kimani in her apartment even with prime suspect Joseph Irungu aka Jowie and his fiancée Jacque Maribe having taken plea against the murder they’ve been formally charged for.

Missing links in the case which the police described was work of a highly trained assasin who left just enough trails and was smart enough also to throw off the cliff investigators.

Detectives, for example, wondering why Ms Kimani did not struggle as her hands were tied behind her back and her mouth taped shut.

Police are struggling to figure out if Monica was drugged as the two had been taking wine together. Her body did not have injuries consistent with a big struggle against an assailant according to police reports.

There were also no signs of struggle in the apartment, as one would expect. A source privy with the scene analysis told journalists she was tied like a goat before her throat was slit.

Police do not think she was tied in the bathroom, a police source speculating to journalists that she might have been trussed up in the bedroom and taken to the bathroom and killed.

The drugging angle would be consistent with the profile of the killer that the police have: A meticulous planner and trained killer who thought about the crime seriously in advance and covered his tracks, including disguising himself in a kanzu and stealing an identity card for use in getting into Ms Kimani’s apartment.

Assuming that the killer acted alone and was known and trusted by the victim, then the most likely explanation for the lack of a struggle is that he either tricked her to allow herself to be tied, or just drugged her.

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Detectives said they were still trying to conclusively figure out the motive of the murder, and that DNA results were still being analysed.

As it stands, police are relying on circumstantial  evidence and fingerprints dusted from Ms Kimani’s home, wine glasses and furniture have shown that Mr Irungu was in Ms Kimani’s Lamuria Gardens flat, quite probably on the night of September 19. However, the forensics team has not given the DNA results yet.

“It will take time before we can really ascertain the biological identity of the killer,” a detective, who is privy to the investigation told the nation. “We are relying on circumstantial evidence for now, but we have not been successful in getting any important information from the main suspect in our custody. He has not helped much. All he says is that he was not involved in the murder. He is very guarded.”

For now, the source said, detectives have not been able to conclusively establish where Mr Irungu’s main residence or central place of operation. The house believed to have been his previous residence in Nairobi’s Buru Buru Phase 2 estate is currently occupied by another man.

The murder weapon used to slit Ms Kimani’s throat has also not been found.

Determining the biological identity of the killer will need DNA analysis and more so with the killing weapon which is not in the picture. Circumstantial evidence can be punched down by lawyers and even though the DCI exudes confidence that they’ve met the threshold, proving that it was indeed Jowie who slit Monica’s throat is the hurdle.

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Police are however said to be in pursuit of a second suspect said to have been with Jowie that night and the murder weapon which could give a major breakthrough in this case. On the night Jowie was arrested he reportedly bragged to the police that the case won’t go nowhere going to cast questions as to just how much he knows and his silence and non corporation with the police can only mean he’s guilty or covering up for someone seemingly more powerful and buying time to evade the net.


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Investigations

Britam’s Plan To Use The Courts To Stifle Competition From Cytonn Has Fallen Apart

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Britam Group managing director Benson Wairegi

In a new twist of events, the Court of Appeal yesterday issued orders stopping Britam’s attempt to use the courts to distract its competitor, Cytonn.

It has emerged that Britam might not have lost Ksh1.2 billion under the watch of its former employees, as they claim. Instead, records show that the money was spent on various Britam projects in the country.

Bank records in possession of our investigative desk show that the money that Britam accuses four of its former employees stealing was wired by Britam’s own Fund Administrators from Standard Chartered Bank in Mauritius to Chase Bank in Kenya to different accounts held by Britam and its then Subsidiary, Acorn.

The money was meant for different projects which were initiated by Britam in conjunction with Acorn Group Limited. Acorn was Britam’s partner in real estate development, and even they (Britam) had shares in Acorn.

The money wired from Mauritius was acquired from investors. Mauritius was the preferred destination because of its tax treaty with Kenya hence avoiding double taxation. However, Britam group did not want the projects done for BAAM investors, they wanted the projects done for Britam directors, a move that former employees firmly resisted, hence the attempt by Britam to punish the four, a move that the court of appeal stopped yesterday.

The disbursements were signed by Shiv Arora who was the Investment analyst for Britam, Elizabeth Nkuuku who held the position of a senior portfolio manager and Edwin Dande, the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Investment Committee had already approved the five projects, in which the Ksh1.2 billion was to be used on.

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As stated, only three executives authorised the transactions, putting in question why Britam decided to include Patricia Wanjama in the suit. Sources within Britam intimated to us that the owners of Britam, working through the previous DPP, Keriako Toniko, decided to manipulate the justice system to punish the Cytonn four, who exited Britam to form their own company.

We are in possession of bank statements showing how Britam used the money:

The first Ksh9.9 million was disbursed to Edenvale Developments LLP, a student housing project sitting on a 0.4 acre piece on Jogoo Road, Nairobi.

Another Ksh42.2 million was disbursed to Starling Park Properties LLP, a real estate project on a 0.7 acre piece of land on Gitanga Road, Nairobi, now called 67 Gitanga on Agwings Kodhek.

The third Ksh43.3 million disbursement was made to Crimson Court Developments LLP a real estate project on Riara Road, Nairobi.

Sinopia Properties LLP received Ksh150 .7 million, a project sitting on a 202.9 acre piece of land located in Ollolooitikosh Town.

The final Ksh915.4 million disbursement was made to Mikado Properties LLP a a real estate development sitting on a 28.4 acre piece of land in Mavoko on Mombasa Road.

This case is important to the market because it is about big corporates trying to keep their position by manipulating the Justice system. For a company that is also owned by IFC, Swiss RE and Africinvest, it’s surprising that international investors would be part of bribing the system to so that they dominate the market.

Next we shall explain to you how Britam issued fake statements to investors in their unit linked education policies. Our mole at Britam informed us that the DCI has been investigating Britam about their Mauritius Ponzi Scheme run by previous shareholder, David Rawat.

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While at it, we would like the Director of Criminal Investigations to also investigate these fake unit linked education insurance policies Britam has been peddling to Kenyans using teachers as their agents.


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Investigations

Regrets, Jacque Maribe Ignores Fiancé Jowie As Couple Reunites In Court As Battle Downs To Katwa Kigen And Cliff Ombeta

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Maribe and Jowie in court.

After the celebrity couple were separated for nearly two weeks as investigations into the murder of Monica Kimani took course, Maribe and Jowie the prime suspect in the case came face to face for the first time in Kilimani court where the duo are to be charged collectively for the murder.

DPP Noordin made the decision to charge both the murder dating evidence collected was strong enough to link the two to the heinous act. Earlier, it was speculated that Maribe would be turned into a state witness and testify against her fiancé who’s the prime suspect in the murder.

In a sharp twist of events, DPP made the decision to collectively charged for the murder. In the investigations, police say that on that night, Maribe and Jowie were in the same company and that Jowie while driving Maribe’s car to Monica’s apartment, was captured in a company of someone.

Police also allege that Jowie attempted to take his life by shooting himself inside Maribe’s bedroom following a disagreement that is yet to be detailed. The clothes worn by Irungu at the crime scene were also partly burned and recovered by police at Maribe’s House. It’s aksomdaid the knife used to commit the crime and which is yet to be found, was from Maribe’s kitchen.

Maribe was initially considered as an accessory to murder by conspiring to mislead investigations, she knowingly lied to the Lang’ata police that Jowie was shot by thugs while in full knowledge of actual act.

Businessman Brian Kassaine who’s also behind bar with his gun having been used by Jowie in the attempted suicide and said to be poised to be charged for being in possession of illegal firearm, could possibly have cut a deal to be a state witness and testify against the murder suspects.

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Jacque Maribe is represented by DP’s ICC lawyer Katwa Kigen while Irungu is represented by seasoned criminal lawyer, Cliff Ombeta.

Updates:

DPP Noordin Haji says there is sufficient evidence to warrant charges against TV anchor Jacque Maribe and her boyfriend Joseph Irungu alias Jowie over the murder of Monica Kimani.

Jowie and Jacque Maribe to be remanded at  Industrial Area and Lang’ata respectively until Monday, Maribe to undergo mental assessment test.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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