Keep Joho depots shut or state will lose cash - KRA

PROBE AT STAKE: Autoport and Portside CFS lawyer Paul Buti and KRA lawyer Pius Nyaga at the Mombasa High Court yesterday.
PROBE AT STAKE: Autoport and Portside CFS lawyer Paul Buti and KRA lawyer Pius Nyaga at the Mombasa High Court yesterday.

The Kenya Revenue Authority has challenged an order allowing Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho's family to reopen two container freight stations.

Through lawyer Pius Nyaga, KRA argued that if orders are granted, they will paralyse the investigations being carried out and lead to massive loss of government revenue.

Nyaga said the owners of Autoports Freight Terminals Ltd and Portside Freight Terminals obtained the orders fraudulently by hiding facts to the court.

Operations at the CFSs had been stopped late last month by KRA, accusing the stations of handling smuggled goods including ethanol, rice and sugar.

On January 30, KRA commissioner general John Njiraini accused the CFSs of failing to comply with the order to re-open and shut them once the goods were cleared.

On February 1, the court granted leave to the CFSs to apply for an order stopping KRA and KPA from locking their business premises.

In the case which was certified as urgent, the CFS owners want the government to cease from sealing off the customs area.

The order, if issued, will also stop the government institutions from harassing shareholders, directors, family and carrying out searches.

In an affidavit sworn by Benson Chacha, he told the court the family is seeking the order to keep on with its operations, which includes removal of goods from the customs area.

He argued that in their application, the companies neglected to disclose that the CFSs were suspended to pave way for investigations.

Nyaga and Paul Buti for the CFSs agreed that the matter be set for February 18 to argue the application brought forward by KRA.