Interpol detains man wanted in Germany for Sh1.4bn tax evasion

Friday February 5 2016

The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in

The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore. A court in Nairobi has allowed Interpol to detain for four days a businessman wanted in Germany for tax evasion. AFP PHOTO | MOHD FYROL 

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Interpol has been allowed to detain a businessman wanted in Germany for tax evasion amounting to over Sh1.4 billion.

In an affidavit submitted to a Nairobi court on Friday, Interpol says Mr Rakesh Sharma "is a member of a gang whose purpose is continued commission of VAT evasion by giving fake revenue particulars leading to evasion of tax amounting to 12,888,434 Euros.”

Mr Sharma appeared before Resident Magistrate Mary Mugure, who allowed the police to detain the suspect for four days.

"The respondent escaped to Kenya but his accomplices were arrested, charged and are serving sentences in Germany," Mr Joseph Ngari of the Interpol National Central Bureau at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in the affidavit.

"The respondent is [the] subject of an international arrest warrant and has to undergo [an] extradition procedure in Kenya to be charged in Germany for the offences," prosecutor Daniel Karuri told the court.

He said police need time to seek extradition orders from a court.

"It has been proved to me on oath that the purpose of [the] ongoing investigation into the commission of the offence of tax evasion contrary to section 370 [of the] German Tax code occurred on diverse dates between January 10 2011 and June 9 2011 within Frankfurt Am Main Germany; it is necessary and desirable that the respondent who is subject to [an] international arrest warrant be detained awaiting extradition proceedings," the magistrate said.

Mr Sharma's lawyers, Mr Cliff Ombeta and Ms Anne Machuki, opposed an earlier request to hold the suspect for 14 days.

They told the court that the suspect had been cooperating with investigators.

The court granted the police to detain the suspect for four days.