BUSINESS FOCUS: Africa Spirits Ltd in the Spotlight…

It is rather unfortunate that Africa Spirits Ltd got implicated in the continuing tax fraud. Ongoing investigations into activities of the Thika based brewing company by KRA officials and police detectives have unraveled damning findings, with counterfeit excise stamps and illicit products all worth of billions. Taking into consideration the multi-billion production complex in Thika, range of products and market reach, this is a big loss to the investment, supply chain and hundreds of employees whose source of income is interfered with. It is only natural that such scandals than bring public limelight into otherwise private enterprises and people want to know more concerning the company, its activities and who essentially own it.

Africa Spirits Ltd is part of billions worth Janus Continental Group, owned by reclusive billionaire Mr. Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa. The group vast interests cut across various industries, including energy, construction, real estate, alcoholic beverage, hospitality and conservancy. It’s rather odd that an individual who conducts his affairs quietly and privately has to be put into such damning limelight, and his affairs made known to the public. The structure and location of the brewing company is strategic, and reveals massive investments in production, machinery, logistics, marketing and distribution.

The Billionaire Owner, Mr. Hamphrey Kariuki

Africa Spirit’s reclusive Owner, Mr. Hamphrey Kariuki Ndegwa.

Born in Nyeri and now at 61 years of age, Mr. Kariuki had worked at CBK and is also a Nairobi School alumnus. His car importing business hustle while at CBK enabled him to start accumulating considerable wealth and slowing rose in ranks and influence to be a billionaire. Investing in importing and selling of top of range European cars such as Range Rovers, Mercedes and VWs seemed lucrative for Mr. Kariuki, as the business boomed and expanded. His specific clientele base saw to it that cars came in as fast as they were disposed off to waiting customers. He later ventured restaurant business, forming the Green Corner Restaurant in Nairobi that was well timed and highly profitable. Then, his passion drove him into the alcoholic beverages business, from distributorship into building a fully-fledged production plant in 2002. Profitable business, strong market influence and associations, power and business acumen soon enabled him break into the construction industry where he funded development of the Hub, Karen. Later, he ventured into the hospitality industry, purchasing Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club, Nanyuki.

Janus Continental Group

Africa Spirits Ltd is part of billions worth Janus Continental Group, owned by reclusive billionaire Mr. Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa. The group vast interests cut across various industries, including energy, construction, real estate, alcoholic beverage, hospitality and conservancy. It’s rather odd that an individual who conducts his affairs quietly and privately has to be put into such damning limelight, and his affairs made known to the public. The structure and location of the alcohol brewing company is strategic, and reveals massive investments in production, machinery, logistics, marketing and distribution.

The billionaire manages his billions worth of business interests through the Janus Continental Group. The business conglomerate include as already mentioned The Hub, Africa Spirits, Wow Beverages, Dalbit Petroleum, Great Lakes Africa Energy, Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club, and Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage. The car business is also his mainstay, having specialized and built himself in the importing of cars venture early in his adult life. JCS has operated for about 30 years in over 8 countries, boasts of 8 brands, and employees over 2,000 employees.

The current unfolding events at the Thika production and distribution plant is rather unfortunate, and is normal for any business venture. Wrong business practices and cutting short cuts have damning consequences, as it is proving rally costly to the Africa Spirits venture. With over 1.2 billion shillings stamps and products seized, the Group’s representative have a daunting tax to officially respond and probably face the government’s agents in court. Recent reports reveal that while the hunt for Mr. Kariuki still continues, a production manager has been detained and is helping in the investigations. The government officials are following leads on the importing of illegal spirits disguised as maize, colluding with rogue KRA and KEBS staff, and business malpractices. We are looking forward for constructive developments on the matter at hand.

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