Kenyan tycoon, Humphrey Kariuki has refuted reports that he had been stripped of his Cyprus citizenship.
Reports in Cyprus suggested that Kariuki and his wife, Stella Nasike were among 26 foreign investors who are set to lose their Cypriot passports irregularly issued under the country’s investment program.
Kariuki, a billionaire businessman, clarified that he and other investors had not been singled out, explaining that Cyprus was reviewing all passports issued under the program.
“Recently, the Government of Cyprus has made the decision to review all passports issued under the Cyprus Investment Scheme before 2018,” he said in a statement.
“The audit will be led by an internal committee, set up by the Government, that will be in charge of reviewing these individual passport awards to ensure they met the regulatory requirements for the scheme applicable at the time of approval.”
Kariuki, who has been a dual citizen of Kenya and Cyprus since 2016, acquired citizenship under the program where foreigners who invested a minimum of 300,000 Euros were issued with a Cypriot passport that guarantees visa-free travel across Europe.
While promising to cooperate with the government of Cyprus in the process, he said he was confident that his passport met all the requirements.
“While I understand that my passport is part of this audit process, having been granted before 2018, I have no doubt that my application fully complied with the regulatory requirements,” he said.
“As a law-abiding global citizen, I will fully support the mandated process in Cyprus with any requirements or further information needed to undertake the review swiftly.”
The Cyprus Mail reported that Kariuki is suspected to have been involved in a “financial scam.” Also on the list are Russian, Chinese, Malaysian and individuals of other nationalities.
Kariuki has vast interests in the beverages, energy, real estate and hospitality industries under the Janus Continental Group.
He owns Dalbit Petroleum, a fuel distributor and Great Lakes Energy, a company that Forbes reported got a Sh40 billion from the Mozambican government for an energy project. He also holds ownership of the Hub Mall in Karen, Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki, Africa Spirits Limited and WoW Beverages.
Kariuki is currently facing charges in a Nairobi court over claims of evading taxes amounting to Sh41 billion through his companies.