KRA of­fi­cial charged with tax eva­sion and fraud

Ac­cused of con­spir­ing to evade pay­ment of im­port duty amount­ing to Sh6.5 mil­lion for a Range Rover be­long­ing to CS Eu­gene Wa­malwa

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - ALPHONCE MUNG’AHU @TheS­tarKenya

Two agents and a KRA cus­toms of­fi­cial were yes­ter­day charged in a Nairobi court with fraud­u­lently im­port­ing and reg­is­ter­ing lux­ury ve­hi­cles without pay­ing taxes.

The ve­hi­cles in­clude a Range Rover for Wa­ter CS Eu­gene Wa­malwa.

Ge­orge Opanga, John Mal­ogo and Elija Ha­masi, alias Kevin Hamisi, ap­peared be­fore Mil­i­mani se­nior prin­ci­pal mag­is­trate Martha Mu­tuku.

They de­nied charges of con­spir­acy to evade pay­ment of duty.

Opanga, a Kenya Rev­enue Au­thor­ity em­ployee, was charged with 22 other counts of mak­ing false en­tries at the Jomo Keny­atta In­ter­na­tional Air­port Cus­toms Ware­house, Nairobi.

The charge sheet stated that on July 16 he jointly con­spired to evade pay­ment of im­port duty amount­ing to Sh6.5 mil­lion. This was for the Range Rover be­long­ing to Wa­malwa.

The mag­is­trate de­clined to re­lease the ve­hi­cle to the CS after the court was in­formed he had not paid the tax. Mu­tuku de­clined to view the ve­hi­cle at the Mil­i­mani park­ing lot after the KRA pros­e­cu­tor asked the court to view it so it could be re­leased to Wa­malwa after pay­ing taxes.

Opanga was also ac­cused of in­ter­fer­ing with in­for­ma­tion stored in cus­toms com­puter sys­tem. He is charged with fraud­u­lently in­ter­fer­ing with the KRA on­line sys­tem to re­flect that im­port duty had been paid for the Range Rover.

He faces other counts in­volv­ing fraud­u­lent im­por­ta­tion of lux­ury ve­hi­cles with the in­ten­tion of evad­ing taxes. Opanga is also ac­cused of procur­ing un­cus­tomed high-end ve­hi­cles, whose to­tal tax value was more than Sh7 mil­lion.

Opanga was re­leased on Sh2 mil­lion bail. Mal­ogo and Ha­masi were each re­leased on Sh500,000 bail. The mat­ter will be men­tioned on Oc­to­ber 24.

In May, doc­u­ments pre­sented in court showed Wa­malwa owes the Kenya Rev­enue Au­thor­ity Sh6.59 mil­lion. Wa­malwa said he is the sec­ond owner of the ve­hi­cle, hav­ing pur­chased it from Grace Wam­bui.

Wam­bui and 10 oth­ers filed a pe­ti­tion at the High Court, ac­cus­ing the tax­man of not giv­ing them ad­e­quate time to com­ply with a di­rec­tive to present their ve­hi­cles for in­spec­tion.

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