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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call for an increase in the price of unprocessed rice from Sh45 to Sh85 continues to take effect/COURTESY

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Rice importers charged with Sh1.5bn Tax Evasion

The suspects faced three counts of tax evasion. In the first count, the suspects while trading as Jihulay Lai commodities limited, jointly with others not before court, knowingly defaulted to remit Income Tax of Sh595, 363,478 in the year 2016.

According to investigations, it was established that for the period covering January 2015 and December 2018, the suspects imported rice worth Sh1.68 Billion. They sold the rice and banked the proceeds in their various companies’ accounts/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Two businessmen of Pakistani Nationality have been charged before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti for evading tax worth Sh1.5 billion.

The traders, Rahim Qasim and Rameez Gulzar Ali alongside their firm Jhulay Lal Commodities limited were found to have been importing rice into the country while deliberately failing to pay Income Tax.

According to investigations, it was established that for the period covering January 2015 and December 2018, the suspects imported rice worth Sh1.68 Billion. They sold the rice and banked the proceeds in their various companies’ accounts.

The suspects faced three counts of tax evasion. In the first count, the suspects while trading as Jihulay Lai commodities limited, jointly with others not before court, knowingly defaulted to remit Income Tax of Sh595, 363,478 in the year 2016.

They also faced two other counts of defaulting to pay Sh434, 930, 264 in the year 2017. The amount arose from omitted business undertakings with a sum of Sh1,441,318,809. The suspects also defaulted to remit Sh522, 925,981 in the year 2018. The amount accumulated from the omitted business undertakings with a sum of Sh1,735,015,739.

The suspects pleaded not guilty and were released on a bond of Sh20 Million and a surety of the same amount. The suspects were ordered hand in their passports to the court.

The arrest followed lengthy investigations carried out by KRA’s Investigation and Enforcement Department on the tax fraud schemes into the country. The case will be mentioned on 3rd March 2020.

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