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Tatu City chair claims foreign directors wired out Sh6.5bn

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Tatu City directors Vimal Shah and Nahashon Nyagah

Tatu City chairman Nahashon Nyagah has tabled more documents in Parliament showing that foreign directors may have irregularly repatriated more than Sh6.5 billion.

Mr Nyagah tabled two letters that he and Bidco Oil company chief executive Vamal Shah wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on February 6, 2017 asking for investigations into the theft of Tatu City and Kofinaf Company Limited money.

In the letters, Mr Nyagah and Mr Shah alleged that Mr Stephen Armstrong Jennings, Frances Holiday, Hans Jochum Horn, Frank Mosier, Pius Mbugua Ngugi, Christopher John Barron and Andrew Rowell had not accounted for $51,522,175 (Sh5.15 billion).

Mr Nyagah told the lands committee that is investigating a petition filed by 1,300 residents of Kiambu County that he had brought to the attention of the DCI the fact that the majority foreign directors had not accounted for $13,540,003 (Sh1.35 billion) in respect of excess amounts paid for acquisition of loans for purchase of Kofinaf land.
Mr Nyagah said concealment of the monies denied him and other Kenyan shareholders their rightful dividends and also denied the government its due taxes.

“In view of the fraudulent conduct on the part of Mr Stephen Jennings and his group, we have taken a number of steps towards having the said persons account to the Kenyan shareholders the amount raised from the sale of the respective company assets,” Mr Nyagah told the committee chaired by Rachael Nyamai.

He said on February 10 the two directors filed two complaints dated February 6, 2017 with the DCI about the extensive theft of the company funds by Mr Jennings and his team.

“I hereby table the same for your consideration. I ask you to call the DCI and ask him the progress of his investigations,” Mr Nyagah said.

The committee had recalled Mr Nyagah to make a statement in response to allegations made by the petitioners that the directors of Tatu Estate and Kofinaf Company limited have been engaging in tax evasion which totals to Sh1,574,939,514

Stephen Mwagiru, a minority shareholder in the multibillion-shilling real estate development, Tatu City, last week tabled documents claiming that the information on tax evasion was based on the selling price of Tatu Estate Land according to figures in Mr Nyagah’s affidavit dated March 2014, 2015.

Mr Mwagiru claims that his foreign partners have been cheating the government of tax revenues while repatriating billions of shillings from the sale of land in Kenya to offshore accounts in Mauritius.

“On the onset, allow me to clarify…that the stated selling processes are accurate to the extent that the same was disclosed to the members of the board of directors.

Mr Nyagah said the fact that Sh6.5 billion has not been accounted for means taxes due to the government may be more than what the petitioners have claimed as Sh1.57 billion.

“I will not respond to the petitioners’ claims of tax evasion. I am not aware of the claimed tax evasion but do not discount the same in view of the fact that the Kenyan shareholders and companies, both Tatu City Limited and Kofinaf Company Limited, have both brought several cases of fraud against the foreign directors,” Mr Nyagah said.

He told MPs that prices of land parcels as indicated in his supplementary affidavit of March 24, 2015 were the prevailing market prices at the time.

“The selling of land assets by way of selling shares of a company instead of a direct land sale does not constitute a tax evasion arrangement. Indeed it is a prudent and legally competent proposition. “Tax evasion is a criminal act while tax avoidance is legally acceptable,” Mr Nyagah said.

Mr Nyagah wants the committee to pursue the findings of an inquiry by DCI with a view to bringing the long standing matter to a closure.

 

-www.businessdailyafrica.com

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