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Chinese CEO arrested in Kenya over Sh37m tax evasion scandal

A senior executive of a Chinese company that was to construct the Green Field terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was arrested in Nairobi Thursday for tax evasion.

China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation general manager (Kenya) Hongyou Huang, is alleged to have failed to pay taxes totalling Sh37 million to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

It is not his first run-in with the police because he was detained at the Kilimani police station in June, this year, for similar charges.

CATIC is the company that won the Sh5.4 billion airport project that was later cancelled.

Mr Huang faces charges of failing to file tax returns to KRA since 2010.


An investigator familiar with KRA operations told the Nation that the arrest is part of efforts to fight corruption that thrives between government officials and executives of private firms.

“The arrest of Huang and the efforts by KRA to recover money by unscrupulous businessmen may be a sign of an upscale in the fight against corruption cartels in Kenya. The outcome of this case could be a strong message on Kenya’s stance against corruption for companies seeking to do business here,” according to the investigator.

Mr Huang is popularly known as “Yellow” within business circles.

Besides the airport project, the company also won the tender for building 161 apartments for Kenya Power Retirement Benefit Scheme in Loresho.


CATIC also entered an agreement with Centum to build  Two Rivers shopping mall in Ruaka.

CATIC is a Chinese state-owned enterprise that was established in 1980 and is affiliated to China National Aero Technology Import & Export Corporation, whose core business is in the aviation sector.

Police have prepared 13 charges against Mr Huang including deliberately failing to deduct and account for withholding tax and failure to pay income tax.

The offences were committed between 2012 and 2016.