• The crackdown at Times Towers is meant to plug leakages that have cost the country billions of shillings in tax revenues.
• Before the arrests, KRA interdicted 75 staff suspected of abetting tax evasion and facilitating access to services through bribery and corruption
Detectives investigating the tax evasion cartel at Kenya Revenue Authority have shifted their focus to senior managers and commissioners.
The crackdown at Times Tower is meant to plug leakages that have cost the country billions of shillings in tax revenue.
Already 41 suspects ranging from junior staff to mid-level managers and supervisors are due in court this morning after they spent the weekend in police cells.
Police were yesterday looking for another 40 after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered their arrest on Friday.
Yesterday the Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti told the Star that they are investigating money laundering and tax evasion.
“Some of those we have arrested have told us who their accomplices are and some of them are top managers at KRA. We will not spare anyone including commissioners if we find evidence,” Kinoti said.
KRA has consistently missed its targets in the last few years in what is believed to be a result of theft, cheating in the declaration of returns, corruption, collusion and soliciting bribes from tax cheats.
A multi-agency team has been investigating officials at KRA for the last four months. At some point, they hired and used interns and junior staff to spy on their bosses and relay all information to the investigating officers.
Before the arrests, KRA interdicted 75 staff suspected of abetting tax evasion and facilitating access to services through bribery and corruption.
The practices in question include facilitation of irregular/fraudulent clearance of cargo, fraudulent amendment of tax returns so as to help taxpayers evade taxes and the irregular issuance of Tax Compliance Certificates.
Of those affected, 61 are from Domestic Taxes Department and 14 are from the Customs and Border Control Department. The bulk of the cases (62) touch on staff based in Nairobi.
In 2018, KRA fired another 85 officers within 2018 for similar offences. On Friday KRA said it had concluded three cases of lifestyle audits and appropriate actions taken to implement the findings including asset recovery and employment termination.
“Future plans will see an intensified focus on lifestyle audits with the goal to undertake up to 50 such audit cases annually. Meanwhile, arrangements are in high gear to implement an electronic Intelligence Gathering System, expected to be in place within the next 3 months,” KRA said in a statement.
(Edited by O. Owino)