KRA officer among 5 to face charges over smuggling

February 15, 2016
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Last month KRA announced new measures and renewed efforts to crackdown on contraband goods and rogue companies involved in illegal activities/FILE
Last month KRA announced new measures and renewed efforts to crackdown on contraband goods and rogue companies involved in illegal activities/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Monday approved charges against five individuals including directors of companies and an official of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) linked to smuggled sugar, ethanol and cars at the Mombasa Port.

Assistant DPP Alexander Muteti directed that Abdalla Roka, Reuben Gachau, Pius Kinyua (Director Dansaf Logistics), Mary Gathema (Director Dansaf Logistics) and Hilary Kipruto (Verification officer KRA) be charged over links to the contraband goods.

He further directed for investigations on 12 other companies and their directors in relation to smuggling of the three types of goods at the Mombasa Port.

Muteti asked police to re-submit a report of the investigations to the DPP within seven days.

Last month KRA announced new measures and renewed efforts to crackdown on contraband goods and rogue companies involved in illegal activities.

“KRA reiterates its determination to firmly enforce customs regulations as part of a broader campaign to seal revenue leakages,” KRA stated in January.

The immediate target was Container Freight Stations (CFSs).

KRA complained that the country was losing a lot of revenue due to frequent tax evasion by CFSs.

It further complained that goods were being smuggled into the country at the risk of undermining local development.

KRA in January found itself in a row with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho after two of his CFS companies were shut down.

In a statement the authority said the move was intended to streamline operations of CFSs and urged politics to be kept out of it.

According to KRA, Joho’s two companies, Autoport and Portside Container Freight Stations abetted in evading tax.

“We note however that recent incidents and investigations in the progress have raised serious concerns over the likely involvement of some CFSs in actions that abet tax evasion. Such acts include facilitating the importation of contraband goods including sugar, rice, ethanol, and other highly sought after commodities,” KRA explained.

Last Tuesday, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia changed the long standing tradition of clearing transit goods when he announced all clearance would be done at the Port of Mombasa and not at the CFSs.

READ: All transit cargo to be cleared at port, CFSs locked out

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