NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – The Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s Court has ordered 18 Kenya Revenue Authority employees to be remanded for 10 days to enable detectives complete their investigation over tax evasion and money laundering claims.
Trial Magistrate Paul Mayova said after hearing the parties that he concluded that the prosecution had established a case against the suspects to warrant the order for detention.
He directed that mater be mentioned on May 27, when another 38 suspects who were earlier remanded for 14 days are to appear in court.
The Director of Criminal Investigations had initially asked for 21 days.
The prosecution had told the court that the suspects were arrested on May 14, 2019 upon presenting themselves to DCI offices.
Mayova heard that the investigating team has since recovered 178 mobile phone which they want subjected to data analysis through the assistance of service providers.
The court heard that most of the phones are new, which the prosecution believe were being used in tax evasion by the suspects and their associate who still at large.
“Some 30 staff of KRA have gone hiding, saying if the suspects already in court are released they are likely to interfere with ongoing investigations,” the magistrate was told.
Due to the nature of the offence, the investigating officers will be looking at the systems at KRA while the suspects are in custody.
The possibility of interfering with investigation that is based on electronic gadgets IS very high and they are likely run away from the jurisdiction of this court, the prosecution said.
The court was told that the team of investigators have already obtained a court order allowing team to access KRA computers systems which include tax, legacy, integrated customs management, Simba 2005 manifest, bio metrics access systems and KNEWS.
The application for detention was strongly opposed by defence team grounds that investigations have been going on for four months now the suspects should not be held any further.
They said police ought not to have arrested them before investigations were complete.
“We read malice and politics in the whole saga in which the suspects have not been told why they were arrested as provided for in law,” they said.
The suspects are not flight risk and they cannot interfere with investigations since they have been interdicted and have no access to KRA offices.