Four Kenya Revenue Authority officers have been arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts, in Nairobi, for aiding tax evasion.
The officers formerly attached to KRA’s Customs and Border Control division in Mombasa had been suspended following a crackdown on two Container Freight Stations earlier this month.
The tax collector, which has been on the spot for not nabbing illegal imports in the country, has resorted to heightening integrity within its ranks in efforts to curb the illicit imports.
KRA staffers Lilian Akoth Onyango, John Wesonga, Anthony Ochieng and David Mwongela appeared before Milimani Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo, facing a charge of making false customs transit bonds.
The four denied the charges and were released on a Sh1 million bond or cash bail of 200,000 each.
The four were suspended after they were allegedly involved in aiding tax evasion at the Portside and Autoport Container Freight Stations in Mombasa.
A statement from the tax man said strategies were being implemented to seal tax evasion loopholes in the import business especially at the container depots.
“In recent weeks, KRA, has managed to swiftly plug potential revenue leakage holes in the lucrative import cargo sector with a raft of new customs procedures. The new procedures, cover the running of existing Container Freight Stations (CFS) under a more stringent and tightly controlled regime,” KRA stated.
The revenue collection agency has since Gazetted the new regulations and procedures governing the operation of transit sheds in line with the provisions of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004, and East African Customs Management Regulations.
The prosecution of KRA staff comes a day after the tax man nabbed several container loads of contraband goods at Autoport Container Freight Station.
A multi-agency verification exercise which has been ongoing at the port targeting containers currently held at Autoport and Portside CFS’ among others, have unearthed a further 20-containers of contraband sugar, imported from Brazil.
The sugar, with an estimated value of Sh36 million, had been mis-declared as floor sanding machine and related hardware tools.
The verification, has also stumbled upon a single 40 foot container suspected to contain 135 drums of a liquid product suspected to be ethanol of an estimated tax value of Sh11 million.
KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki, said the consignment would be subjected to further assessments and if confirmed contraband, will be destroyed.
“We are also in pursuit of the listed importers, for whom we shall be seeking to arraign in court .The contents of these containers, will also be destroyed as part of our measures to curb this practice”. KRA, will not relent on this front, as we strive to guarantee revenue collection and national security,” Mr Musyoki said.