The 2017 Tharaka Nithi Senatorial seat aspirant and Director of Patiala Distillers Kenya Limited Mr Francis Kiambi Matanka Kiriiro has been arraigned in court to answer to charges of selling alcoholic beverages affixed with counterfeit excise stamps to distributors.
Francis Kiambi Matanka Kiriiro appeared before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi at the Milimani Law court on Friday, August 27th, 2021, where he faced a count of selling Excisable Goods affixed with counterfeit excise stamps contrary to section 40 of the Excise Duty Act 2015 and Regulations 30(1) (g) as read with Regulations 30(2) of the Excise Duty (Excisable Goods Management System) Regulations, 2017.
Kiambi denied the charge and was released on a bond of KShs.1 million and one surety or Cash bail of Kshs.500,000.
Kiambi contested the 2017 general elections on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket and lost Tharaka Nithi Senatorial contest to former Senate Majority Leader Professor Jubilee Party’s Kindiki Kithure.
The second accused person Mary Waigwe Muthoni did not appear in court for plea and she will be required to appear on 31st August 2021 for plea taking.
While conducting compliance checks on different shops within Nairobi, Enforcement officers found 178 bottles of Blue Ice Vodka manufactured by Patiala Distillers Limited affixed with counterfeit excise stamps at a shop by the name Nice Link Dealers Limited that is located along Mwiki Kasarani Road.
The investigations established that the manufacturer had supplied the distributor with the alcoholic drinks that had been affixed with counterfeit stamps for sale.
In the recent past, some manufacturers have resorted to affixing counterfeit Excise stamps on excisable goods such as bottled drinking water, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes with a view of evading payment of excise duty.
Affixing counterfeit excise stamps on excisable goods is a deliberate fraud scheme to defraud the Authority of Excise Duty. These forms of tax evasion deny the government revenue to facilitate its service delivery.
It is for this reason that KRA has embarked on a full-scale investigation and prosecution of tax evasion or gross negligence involving all Acts of Parliament administered by KRA in order to promote voluntary tax compliance.
If convicted, the accused persons are liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
Kiambi was among the four Senatorial aspirants who were been blacklisted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as having questionable integrity and not fit to run in the August 8, 2017 General Election.
According to an EACC document to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) vetting committee, the four are under investigations while others have cases pending in court.
The four included Kiambi, the then Igembe North Member of Parliament (MP) and current Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Diriye Abdulahi Mohammed(Wajir) and David Kinisu Sifuna (Trans Nzoia) , who were eyeing Senatorial seats in their respective counties.
Mr Kiambi’s company, Patiala Distillers Kenya Ltd, was accused of evading tax revenues amounting to Ksh 7 million.
In 2016, detectives from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and EACC raided a godown in Nairobi’s Industrial Area and confiscated ethanol worth millions of shillings that was linked to Mr Kiambi’s company.
Despite being blacklisted, Kiambi went ahead and contested for the Senatorial post that he lost to Kindiki.