FRAUD

Sh3.2bn tax evasion case against two traders to proceed

In Summary

• Dhavai Vinobhai Soni and Bhupathiraju Maheswara Varma are charged with eight counts related to tax accounting. 

• Judge ruled, despite the proescution application for adjournment, that the case will proceed. 

A criminal case in which two traders are charged with failing to remit to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over Sh3.2 billion in revenue in a span of two years will proceed to full hearing on August 7.

Dhavai Vinobhai Soni, Bhupathiraju Maheswara Varma and their company Shreeji Enterprises (K) Limited have denied eight counts of claiming value added tax (VAT), falsifying books of accounts, affecting payment of VAT, making incorrect statements about VAT paid, failing to remit VAT and failing to pay tax.

 

According to the prosecution, the total amount involved is Sh3,268,065,307.

Soni, a director of Shreeji Enterprises and  Varma, the financial controller, have denied the eight counts filed against them by the KRA prosecutors.

Trial magistrate Martha Mutuku issued the order to proceed after a KRA prosecutor applied for adjournment saying the prosecution was not ready. 

Defence lawyers led by David Oyatta opposed the prosecution’s application saying they were ready to proceed with the hearing.

But the magistrate allowed prosecution’s request and gave them the last chance adjournment.

 Soni and the company are accused of claiming VAT which they were not entitled to worth Sh454,867,754 from the Commissioner of Domestic Tax.

 Varma has been accused of aiding Shreeji Enterprises Kenya Limited in preparing false books of accounts thereby affecting payment of Sh1,435,351,386 between January 20, 2016 and December 20, 2017 to CDT.

 

Soni and Shreeji face another count of making an incorrect statement of VAT thereby affecting payment of revenue worth Sh454,867,754 to CDT.

Soni is also accused defaulting in tax obligations to remit VAT of Sh454,867,754 by the due date.

 Soni and Shreeji are further accused of failing to pay corporation tax amounting to Sh478,619,659 to CDT between April 1, 2016 and March 2017.

The two accused, who are out on bond of Sh1 million have also deposited their travel documents in court pending the hearing and determination of the case.