NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Thirty eight Kenya Revenue Authority Staff will spend 14 days in police custody as detectives conduct investigation over allegations of tax evasion and money laundering.
Resident Magistrate Paul Mayova allowed the prosecution’s application for detention but declined 21 days as requested, instead directing that the matter be mentioned on May 27, 2019 to confirm progress of the investigations.
They will be held at Muthaiga, Kileleshwa and Gigiri Police Stations.
The suspects were arrested on May 10, 2019 at the KRA Domestic Taxes Department and Customs Border Control.
The prosecution told the court that at the time of arrest, their mobile phones, laptops and other equipment were taken away for analysis.
“The investigation is complex and it will require time,” the prosecution said.
The court heard that the office of the Director of Criminal Investigations is probing offences relating to tax evasion, money laundering and abuse of office.
Already, the investigating officers have seized 178 mobile phones from those held, while other 48 associates or suspects are being sought.
The application for detention was strongly opposed by defence lawyers led by Professor Tom Ojienda, Danstun Omari, Mothomi Thiakru and John Swaka among others on grounds that investigations have been going for four months now and the suspects should not be held any further.
“The 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 by the law,” they argued.