, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – Thirteen officials from the Kenya Ports Authority and KRA have been charged with releasing containers without payment of customs duty worth Sh9 million.
The officials pleaded not guilty to the offence, which is said to have occurred between June 21 and 23 this year.
Mombasa Principal Magistrate Douglas Ogoti released them on a Sh300,000 bond or an alternative cash bail of Sh100,000 each, ahead of the hearing of the case on September 13.
They were arrested in the ongoing probe of tax evasion at the Port of Mombasa by a multi-agency team comprising Kenya Revenue Authority, KPA, National Intelligence Service and Directorate of Criminal Investigation.
The charges indicate that the officials failed to make entries of the containers in the KPA’s Simba Systems.
“Being public officers employed in a public body KPA abused office by failing to make entries into the samba system in respect of three containers thereby causing a revenue loss being customs import duty,” the charges read.
Two directors of a Container Freight Station were also charged with felony for refusing to pay customs duty fee for the three containers.
Senior KRA and KPA officials are accused of running cartels at the port involving smuggling of goods and drugs at the Port of Mombasa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the new KPA Managing Director to restore sanity at the port.