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Monday, December 6, 2021

KRA Officers Under Investigation for Tax Evasion Offences, Barred from Accessing Their Offices

BY PRUDENCE WANZA – 38 Kenya Revenue Authority suspects who are under investigation over tax evasion scam have been barred from interfering with the employers systems by the High court.
Appearing before Justice Luka Kimaru the suspects have been further prohibited from their offices until the probe is complete by the detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Kimaru further directed them to be appearing DCI offices daily at 10.00 a.m.
The suspects who are out on Sh 200,000 cash bail through their lawyer John Swaka told the court to extend the same bail terms granted last week pending the conclusion of investigations.
Swaka told Kimaru that all the suspects have been cooperating with the ongoing investigations.
Last week the 38 suspects had been arraigned in court after they were arrested on allegations of tax avoidance and abuse of office.
The DCI, through Inspector Arthur Onyango, informed the court that they are conducting a forensic examination on mobile phones, computers and other electronics obtained from the suspects.
“The activities of the respondents and their associates pose a great risk to the mainstay of the economy hence risking the national security and their actions must be fully investigated,” submitted Onyango
Inspector Onyango told the court that the evidence so far gathered and credible intelligence show that the accused were actively involved and colluded with certain tax payers in criminal enterprise to evade payment of taxes or reduce tax liability.
On May 13, 2019 court had ordered the detention of the 38 suspects for 14 days pending the completion of the investigation but they moved to the high court where they were granted a cash bail of Sh 200,000 each to secure their freedom pending the hearing and determination of their application.
18 more suspects linked to the same offence were detained for 10 days despite a long argument to block their detention.
Magistrate Paul Mayova last week ruled that an application by the prosecution to detain them has quality and allowed it.
“There are compelling reasons to hold the suspects for 10 days so that the investigation officers can conclude investigations on items they seized for suspects including mobile phones, computers and other items,” said Mayova.
Mayova said that he cannot confirm when the ruling of the application to review detention order at the high court will be made and therefore the suspects should be detained.
The ruling was made soon after the defense through their lawyers made an application to differ a ruling for detention pending the ruling of the high court matter.
Through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, Ian Maina, Tom Ojienda, Danson Omari among other lawyers, the suspects pleaded with the court to have a hearing on custodial orders delayed pending the outcome of the matter at the high court.
The matter involving the 38 suspects will be mentioned on June 13, 2019.
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