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Kenya to deport foreigners illegally in betting businesses

Some of the gambling equipment confiscated by the government during the past crackdown/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi says his ministry will issue deportation orders to foreigners who applied for a work permit to operate other businesses but ended up in the betting sector.

Matiangi on Monday directed the PS, State Department for Immigration, Gordon Kihalangwa to review all the business permits for foreigners doing business in the country and provide a report by the close of business Monday.

Matiangi, who was speaking during a betting stakeholders’ meeting, said it was worrying that over 90 per cent of betting firms are owned by foreigners who are reaping huge turn over at the expense of Kenyan youth.

“We will not allow other people to come and do unlawful business in the country. I want to tell you for free those doing this business without a valid license will be deported,” warnedMatiangi.

He said betting licenses won’t be renewed automatically, adding that the firms will have to provide a tax compliance certificate before being considered to have their licenses renewed.

He said this was due to the frustrations betting firms are giving the Kenya Revenue Authority for evading paying taxes by obtaining court orders not to remit payments.

“We want to end this game of people running to the Judiciary to avoid paying taxes. Those who will not be tax compliant will have their firms closed down,” he said.

The CS said betting firms owes KRA taxes amounting to Sh26 billion.

He however urged those firms running betting businesses legitimately to comply with the taxman’s
demands and comply with the betting and gaming regulations.

“The government supports investors doing business in the country but it has to be within the confines of the law; Kenya is guided by the rule of law,“ said Matiangi.

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