The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has tightened the noose against perpetrators of a tax evasion scheme on non-payment of export duties on locally sourced raw hides and skins, in contravention of Customs laws.
As part of measures to fight against the vice, KRA has seized 25 containers of hides and skins at the Port of Mombasa that would have led to the government loosing approximately Khs75 Million in export duty, should the culprits have managed to sneak the cargo out of the port for export.
The intercepted consignment was among 50 containers of hides and skins that had been set aside for 100% verification on suspicion of being misdeclared as other goods to evade the payment of export duties.
The scheme involves stuffing/loading containers with raw hides and skins meant for export from local godowns in absence of Customs officers which is contrary to customs law on exports.
Thereafter export declarations are made in customs systems with false information on description of goods, local exporter, country of destination and weight. It is worth to note that, the goods declared in customs export documents are disguised as those that are exempted from export duties.
Further, in the course of investigations, KRA received a tipoff that the involved merchants were in the process of disrupting and scuttling the ongoing investigations by offering bribes. KRA jointly with EACC laid a trap and were able to arrest three (3) suspects who had offered a bribe of Ksh700,000.
KRA is determined to ensure there is a fair playing ground for legitimate business to thrive and the Public is encouraged to undertake legitimate and clean business. KRA has an elaborate intelligence network to detect, disrupt and deter such tax evasion schemes to create a level playing field for all.
FCPA Dr. Edward Karanja
Commissioner, Investigation and Enforcement Department