Coast clearing agents, directors charged with Sh53m tax evasion

In Summary

• Used an incorrect customs duty rate of 10 per cent instead of the applicable 25 per cent in respect of the motor vehicles imported.

Fatiya Yasir, one of the directors of a clearing firm charged over tax evasion, appears in court on Friday, October 4, 2019.
Fatiya Yasir, one of the directors of a clearing firm charged over tax evasion, appears in court on Friday, October 4, 2019.
Image: MARUEEN MUDI

An operation to nab tax evaders in Coast has seen two directors and five clearing agents charged over tax evasion involving millions of shillings.

They were accused of colluding to evade import duty totalling to Sh53. 9 million.

George Njihia Njoroge, and Boniface Macharia, directors of Manjok International Limited, were charged with committing the offence on diverse dates between July 6, 2017 and November 2, 2018.

The court heard that jointly with others not before court, they knowingly concerned themselves with the fraudulent evasion of duty.

The duo allegedly used an incorrect customs duty rate of 10 per cent instead of the applicable 25 per cent in respect of the motor vehicles imported under various customs entries.

They denied the charge on Friday and Mombasa Chief Magistrate Ednah Nyaloti released them on a bond of Sh4 million, with an alternative of Sh200,000 cash bail each.

One of the directors of a clearing and forwarding firm, L Port Solutions Limited, Sarah Wamaitha Gitau, was also charged with knowingly concerning herself in the fraudulent evasion of duty amounting to Sh24.5 million by using an incorrect customs duty rate of 10 per cent instead of the applicable 25 per cent.

She is accused of doing so between September 9, 2017 and April 18, 2019.

This was in respect of the motor vehicles imported under various customs entries.

George Otieno Ogutu, the director of Fleet freighters Limited, faced a similar charge involving the fraudulent evasion of duty amounting to Sh21.3 million.

Wamaitha and Ogutu were released on a bond of Sh4 million each, with an alternative of Sh200,000 bail.

The director of the other clearing firm Rank Network Logistics limited, Eric Chweya Nyamweya, faced two charges.

He is said to have fraudulently evaded a total of Sh 3.4million by using an incorrect customs duty rate.

Rank Network Logistics director faced a similar case of allegedly being engaged in fraudulent evasion of duty amounting to Sh1.5million by using an incorrect customs duty rates.

They were released on a bond of Sh1 million with an alternative bail of Sh100,000.

The hearing of the cases was set for October 23, 2019.